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Ledbury Town's struggling first team forced to fold

Malvern Editorial 8th Oct, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

THE BIGGEST football team in Ledbury has been forced to fold as bosses at the cash-strapped club struggled to keep it afloat.

Ledbury Town Football Club has decided to withdraw its first team from the West Midlands Regional League Division One – the 11th tier of English football.

Paul Mann, football co-coordinator at the club, told The Observer it was a sad day for the town as the side had been promoted from two divisions in the last three years.

But with the team languishing at the bottom of the table, together with problems of retaining players and increasing costs of match officials and transport, Mr Mann said they had little option but to fold.

However, he insisted it did not signal an end to the football club as they were still running a reserve team, which play in the Herefordshire Football League Division One, and had created a new u18s side.

“It is a sad, but ultimately I think it is for the best thing for this club and that is why we made that decision,” he said.

“As time goes on it will prove to be the right one in the end.

“The last two games cost the club more than £200, which we lost as attendances have been so low.

“In terms of the town I don’t think it will have too much of an impact and the formation of this Colts side who are playing in the Herefordshire League Division Three has created a bit of a buzz.”

Mr Mann said the board were now in the process of drawing up a five-year plan as it looks to develop and retain young local talent in the area and he hopes the newly-formed Ledbury Colts side would play a major part in the club’s future.

“I think people will recognise that to be successful we need to encourage more local talent,” he added.

“We need to look at how we can relate to the social club, how we can attract sponsors and how we are spending our money, so it is bigger than just saying ‘in five years time we will be in the West Midlands League’.

“We might just stay in the Herefordshire Football League if it is working for the club and we are introducing young players into a decent level of football.”

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