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Academy Side Resign From the UCL

It is with great regret that Grantham Town have to announce that the Grantham Town Academy side which played in the United Counties League in 2022/23 will not be competing in football for the 2023/24 season. The impact of recent changes at Grantham Town have meant that the continuation of a team at that level of football is not currently sustainable.

“It costs a lot to run a side at step 6 football.” Said Executive Steering Group member Kevin Guest. “Looking purely at the finances at the club, with little income of it’s own, that side could not sustain itself financially. That would consequently have an impact on the running of the first team. At present, ensuring the competitive continuation of the first team has to be the thrust of everything that is done at Grantham Town.”

This means that the side will withdraw from the United Counties League Division 1 North. The Gingerbreads have thanked Leroy Atkin and his playing squad for their efforts this season and wish them all the best for their futures in football.

This decision does not affect any of the Grantham Town Scholars and Youth teams, an area that is still seen as the future of Grantham Town. It is also possible that the withdrawal of an Academy side for next season may not be the end of the story.

“It has been a difficult season for the Academy side.” Said Mr Guest. “It was their first year at that level. With two changes of manager across the season, they did well to battle on and earned some good results against more established sides. The Academy Scholars programme at Grantham Town continues and is expanding the numbers of students. We will be able to ensure that those scholars play football at as high a level as we can. The Junior Premier Leagues and all the leagues our teams are entered in continue to give a high standard of opposition and provide a pathway of development. Scholars who would have played in the Academy side can be found quality football within other local sides.”

The planned expansion of the Academy at Grantham Town means that the door is not totally closed on a senior side for the scholars. The Executive Group who are running Grantham Town in the interim while a new Board is formed are sure that there is scope for it’s return. A combination of potential direct investment, the general expansion of the Academy and other factors may mean a return in a year or two for a senior academy/reserve side for the Gingerbreads.

“The longer term future and positioning of any senior Academy/reserve side is without doubt something that will be kept under constant review.” Mr Guest added. “It’s not a closed door, but if it is to return in the future, it must be on a sustainable financial footing.”

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