Hinckley AFC can confirm that the club will not be appealing its allocation into the Midland Football League for 2022/23.
After discussions of the Board together with consulting the management team, the club decided not to appeal against the sideways movement.
Our members and supporters deserve to know exactly why we have made this choice.
We made a successful league allocation appeal to the Football Association in June 2021. That was on the basis that the geographical changes made to the Midland Football League at that time would significantly increase travel times.
The appeal judge stated that we had a ‘high bar’ to clear. The club had to show that the FA League Committee ‘came to a decision to which no reasonable such body could have come.’ By comparing average travelling times and highlighting matches that would take under an hour and over an hour to get to, we successfully showed this.
This season’s allocation has seen us switched back to the Midland League. After calculating distance and travel times of other teams allocated to the MFL, our expected mileage is around 786 miles. That’s an average travelling time of 20 hours to all 21 teams.
The United Counties League has seen six new clubs allocated to Division One. These are all from the Mansfield, Newark or Grantham areas, all 50+ miles away and over an hour’s journey to each. This has significantly altered the geographical make up of the UCL.
After calculating distance and travel times to other teams in the UCL, our expected mileage would be around 845 miles. That’s an average travelling time of 19 hours 30 minutes to all 22 teams.
As can be seen from those calculations the geographical difference between the two leagues is now minimal.
The MFL is 60 miles less distance, and the UCL is 30 minutes less travelling time. There are now 10 games in each league that would take over an hour to travel to.
Having gone through the appeals process and knowing how difficult it is to prove that the FALC ‘came to a decision to which no reasonable such body could have come’, Hinckley AFC feel that any geographical basis for appeal would be instantly dismissed. We feel that there is not enough geographical difference with these allocations.
As such the Board feel any appeal would be frivolous and a waste of Members’ funds.
Therefore, we say au revoir to our United Counties friends made last season, and hello again to the Midland League clubs.
We look forward to reacquainting ourselves with old rivals from our first spell, and meeting other new clubs for the first time.