FC Oswestry Town folds due to financial difficulties
FC Oswestry Town has folded four months after the non-league season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The club, which had looked set for promotion before the season was declared void, announced that it was resigning from the North West Counties First Division South due to financial difficulties.
"It is with a heavy heart that FC Oswestry Town have made the sad decision to fold the club," a statement said.
"The difficult decision has been made due mainly to the Covid pandemic that resulted in the curtailing of the North West Counties League and the FA’s ruling to make the 2019/20 season null and void which robbed us of a hard-earned promotion.
"The committee has been working hard over the past four months but due to financial difficulties that we are currently facing we are unable to keep the club alive in the professional and competitive way that everyone involved with the club would like.
"Financial difficulties due to the denial of promotion to a higher league, no fixtures being played since March and no opportunities to raise funds externally means we are in no position to commit to the forthcoming season."
The news comes in the same week that staff at The Venue in Park Hall, where FC Oswestry and Welsh side The New Saints are based, were told the business had ceased trading.
The North West Counties League said it had reluctantly accepted the club's resignation "with sadness".
"Everyone at the league is saddened to receive this resignation and we wish everyone who is involved at the club the best of luck moving forward," a spokesman said.
"Hopefully they can stay involved within the football family at some level."
FC Oswestry was formed in 2013 and played in the Mercian Regional Football League First Division until promotions saw it reach the North West Counties First Division South.
The previous Oswestry Town club had merged with Total Network Solutions in 2003 to form The New Saints.
"As a club we have had an amazing short history with a hugely successful team that gained promotion to the North West Counties League," the club statement continued.
"The success continued with this years fantastic team that was on the verge of promotion to Step 5 football and the FA Cup. We have had an amazing journey.
"We would like to thank all the committee members, supporters and businesses that has helped us make our progress through the non-league football scene but unfortunately we were not able to replicate the success of the old Oswestry Town.
"Everyone involved with the club has spent the last few months trying to work out ways to keep this club alive and moving forward towards a brighter future, but unfortunately to no avail.
"We like to place on record our thanks to everyone involved with the North West Counties football League, for all their help since we have been in the league, and with the professional way the league is run."
The original Oswestry club, Oswestry United, was founded in 1860, making it one of the world's oldest football clubs.
The renamed Oswestry Town Football Club won the Cheshire League in 1972, competed in the Northern Premier League and reached the FA Cup 1st round on several occasions.
However it went into decline and was forced to sell its Victoria Road ground to pay its debts, folding completely in the late 1980s.
It reformed in the 1990 joining the Welsh league and in 2003 merged with the Llansantffraid-based TNS who went on to move to the new ground at Park Hall.