TURTON FC have been rocked by a decision to deny them a return to the West Lancashire League Premier Division after failing to meet a ground improvement deadline.

The heart-breaking news was revealed to chairman Peter Gray on Sunday after league officials informed them only one team (Fulwood Amateurs) would be promoted to the Premier Division instead of two.

It comes after West Lancashire League sides were told at their annual general meeting last June that improvements to grounds had to be completed by March 31 this year.


Turton have received £87,000 in grants to improve their facilities during the close-season but despite telling league officials work would be completed in time for next season the league has decided they must continue in Division One next season.

Turton FC chairman Peter Gray said: “The work has been planned for a long time and officials from the West Lancashire League have been at our ground up to six times and they are aware of what we are doing.

“Then I saw a conversation on twitter between two clubs about the March 31 deadline.

“I spoke to one of the officials and told them surely they should be supporting the club improving themselves but they held a meeting to say that one team should go up instead of two and no relegation from the Premier Division.

“It is extremely frustrating, the work will be completed in six weeks.

“I don’t know why they cannot do what they have done in the past in the case of Hesketh Bank who improved their facilities just before the start of the season and were promoted to the Premier last year.”

So far Burscough Richmond and Hurst Green have voiced messages of support for Turton as the news sparked outrage on social media and twitter.

The work they need to do includes improvements to toilets, changing facilities and female official areas.

Gray said: “It would have been impossible for us to do the work during the season as there is heavy machinery driving across the pitches which would cut up in the wet conditions and games would have been called off.

"I don't know why they can't just extend the deadline and then come to see the improvements."

John Brown, general secretary of the West Lancashire Football League, said: " The management committee meeting at the end of the season said that under the national league system clubs going into our Premier Division mush have Step 7 graded by March 31.

"Turton are not in that position so our position is that they would not be promoted.

"Hesketh Bank's improvements were only cosmetic."

Sign the petition to get Turton FC's well-earned promotion restored HERE