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Thurlow Nunn chairman clarifies confusion over number of demotions

BAD DAY: Walsham le Willows experienced a bad day at the office on Saturday, with a 5-0 loss away to Newmarket
BAD DAY: Walsham le Willows experienced a bad day at the office on Saturday, with a 5-0 loss away to Newmarket

The chairman of the Thurlow Nunn League has shed light on the number of Premier League clubs due to be relegated at the end of the season.

Peter Hutchings has revealed that four teams are ‘most likely’ to face the chop from the division, as part of extensive changes to the national non-league structure to cut down on travel time.

After clubs were told as many as seven could be demoted from the league at the start of the season — causing widespread unhappiness among member clubs — little information had been released.

So Hutchings’ clarification has been welcomed by a number of clubs in or around the relegation zone. He said: “There will be 20 teams in the Premier Division next season so there will be four teams expected to go down.

“I understand the FA have now put out that no more than four teams will be relegated.

“There will probably also be some lateral movement from the league though, such as Saffron Walden to an Essex league, so seven teams could still be leaving, but not through relegation.

“We have already told the various clubs of this development but we will also have a meeting in March.

“No one has come to me about any concerns but I’m happy to talk to any club who want to speak about it. The final decisions do, ultimately, get made by the FA though.”

• Meanwhile, Walsham-le-Willows, who lie sixth from bottom, will be heartened to learn they are in a safe spot as they gear up to host Ely City on Saturday (3pm).

It follows a 5-0 thrashing by Newmarket Town.

• Stowmarket Town will be without a game for two weeks, following Saturday’s postponement at Wivenhoe Town and no fixture scheduled this weekend. The short break will give new first team coach Tom Parke, the former Wroxham joint-manager, time to bed in.

Stow also announced that entry to home league games will now be free for Under-16s.

• Finally, Thetford Town continue their progress in the Norfolk Senior Cup, with the quarter final at Wymondham Town on Saturday (3pm).

It follows their 3-2 victory over Saffron Walden Town at home last Saturday.

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