Tuesday 1st July 2014
Romans Avoid Relegation
After many weeks of speculation, rumours and counter-rumours Rocester club officials finally got the news they were hoping for on Tuesday morning when they were formally notified that they will not be relegated.
The Romans finished their last Midland Football Alliance campaign second from bottom back in April, but a subsequent points deduction for Gornal Athletic left the Black Country outfit at the foot of the table, moving Rocester up one place and leaving their future hanging on the outcome of an appeal by Highgate United, who failed to attain the necessary ground grading.
Gornal had originally appealed the decision to deduct 14 points from their total after they signed a large group of players from neighbours Dudley Town without following the correct procedures, which rendered a number of them ineligible.
Dudley were unable to raise a team for two of their matches after most of their players defected, and although Gornal claimed the players were signed on dual registrations and signed legally, they eventually withdrew their appeal.
Midland Football Alliance Secretary John Shaw notified the Romans that they would not be relegated after news came through that Highgate's appeal to the F.A. had failed.
After receiving the news, Romans Director Barry Smith said "We are absolutely delighted, it's been in the pipeline for a month or more but we've just had to keep our heads down and hope for the best."
"The whole thing has been completely out of our hands, but now we've been given the news officially it was well worth waiting for - maybe we were due a bit of luck!"
Manager Dave Shaw was equally pleased with the outcome, and aims to make the most of the club's narrow escape; "We've had the get out of gaol free card, it's given everyone a massive lift and now we've got to push on and get the club back to where it should be."
"We've got a good influx of new players training with us, and we've got a good set of friendly matches coming up to get us prepared for the season."
The Romans will be competing at Step 5 of the national non-league system in the Premier Division of the newly formed Midland Football League, a merger of the Midland Football Alliance and the Midland Combination.