Everyone at the football club is aware of the situation with regards the playoffs, and the unfortunate predicament we find ourselves in due to the points per game scenario required to gain promotion to step three this season. This is something that the club has been aware of since last summer, and along with several other clubs at this level, have stated our disappointment to both the Football Association and Southern League. For those who are not aware, this season sees twelve vacant spaces for clubs to be promoted to step three from seven leagues at step four. Seven of these spaces have already been taken up with the winners of step four leagues, leaving the five playoff winners with the best points per game record to be promoted. We go into this playoff semi-final with the knowledge that we do not have a strong enough point per game record to be promoted, regardless of whatever happens over the next week.
There have been a number of comments around social media about why the club are bothering to play this fixture, knowing that we have no chance of promotion. The club would like to state that we understand the fans frustration with regards the situation, especially from those who have only just found out about this in the last few days or weeks. The Eagles would like to also put on record our thanks to other clubs and fans from around the country who have given their support to the situation we find ourselves in (or the two playoff winners who do not get a promotion). However, despite this, Jon, the management team and players are committed to the playoffs and intend to give our all to achieve a positive result against a difficult Corby side.
Last summer, the then Management Committee, including Jon, sat down and discussed that our target for the season should be a playoff spot. We have achieved that, despite some disappointing results and largely inconsistent form since Christmas. Everyone at the football club has given their all to see us finish in fourth and achieve that target. We would be disrespecting ourselves, Corby and the Non-League game as a whole, if we didn’t continue to achieve the goal set out at the start of the season. The Eagles last reached the playoffs thirteen years ago. It is not something that comes around every season, and the team are ready to compete in our first playoff game in over a decade.
In addition to this, we are also unsure about a number of situations surrounding the pyramid as things stand. The football world has already seen North Ferriby United and Thamesmead disappear this season, and uncertainty surrounds many clubs up and down the leagues including Bolton and Bury. The FA stated earlier in the season that there would be no reprieves for clubs who drop down levels, and this opens up the possibility for a sixth or seventh playoff winner to be promoted, should the vacancy become available. The club does not wish to through away the hard work completed in the previous thirty-eight games, to then find out that taking the playoffs seriously would have resulted in a promotion later in the summer.
Bedford Town FC