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Stowmarket Town chairman Kevin Blundell explains decision to turn down chance of relegation reprieve





Stowmarket Town chairman Kevin Blundell says they are looking to rebuild in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division after revealing they turned down the chance to apply for a relegation reprieve to stay at Step 4.

The Old Gold & Blacks – led by player-manager David ‘Bart’ Lorimer after Richard Wilkins resigned in December – finished bottom of the Pitching In Isthmian League North Division without a win after a financial reset following donor Tom Morley pulling out.

But their level for 2024/25 had been uncertain with New Salamis signalling their intention to fold, joining East Thurrock United.

Stowmarket Town chairman Kevin Blundell is hoping the club can stabalise on a sustainable financial model back at Step 5 Picture: Stow Town FC
Stowmarket Town chairman Kevin Blundell is hoping the club can stabalise on a sustainable financial model back at Step 5 Picture: Stow Town FC

After that happened, the Isthmian League did offer Stowmarket the chance to apply for a reprieve but they decided not to take it forward.

Blundell said: “There was no guarantees with it and I put it to a vote among the directors and management team and the vote came back that we would accept relegation.”

He added: “With many non-league clubs up and down the country folding, could we have withstood another difficult battle at Step 4? Who knows. I’m sure we’ll be back, but it gives us time to survive, stabilise and sustain.”

Stowmarket Town’s Greens Meadow ground will host Step 5 football in 2024/25 after the club decided not to apply for a relegation reprieve Picture: Richard Marsham
Stowmarket Town’s Greens Meadow ground will host Step 5 football in 2024/25 after the club decided not to apply for a relegation reprieve Picture: Richard Marsham

Their relegation comes after three seasons at Step 4, having finished fourth, seventh and 19th (bottom).

And in the wake of the news of their demotion, following last Friday’s release of the FA’s National League System club allocations, Stowmarket’s director of football Andonis Wolverson said it was the best thing for the club.

Posting on his X account, he wrote: “This is what we needed at this stage.

“At Step 5 we can begin really moulding the spine of the next generation’s team.

“The pathway is open and we’re ready to get to work to take Stowmarket Town forward but do it sustainably.”