Rochdale Town Football Club has folded

Date published: 17 August 2016

Rochdale Town Football Club has folded - the semi-professional outfit resigned from the Manchester Football League on Monday.

The club had spent the last 26 years in the North West Counties League (NWCFL) but were demoted to the Manchester Football League after their ground’s step six grading was revoked in June.

The club’s Mayfield Sports Centre, which is also used by Mayfield Rugby League Club, did not have a lock on the toilet doors, leading to the controversial loss of the club’s step six grading and subsequent demotion to step seven of the National League system.

An appeal was made to the FA to maintain the club’s NWCFL status but was rejected. The club folded after it became unable to fulfil its first three fixtures of this season.

The club had only recently tied up a partnership with Rochdale AFC which would have given the professional side’s youth development squad players the opportunity to play for Rochdale Town’s senior and youth teams.

Rochdale Town, founded 92 years ago, in 1924, played their last match on Saturday 30 July at Kingsway Park High School, losing 1-9 in a friendly against a Rochdale AFC XI.

A spokesperson for Mayfield said: “As Rochdale Town's friends and co-habitants at the Mayfield Sports Centre, Mayfield Rugby Club is saddened by the folding of the team.

“The ground inspections and grading by the FA have been left in the capable hands of Rochdale Town's tireless chairman, Mark Canning, and we have assisted where possible, but it seemed that, for whatever reason, nothing was good enough for the North West Counties Football League.

“They have put a number of obstacles in Rochdale Town Football Club's way over the last few seasons and the supposed lack of a lock on a toilet door is something of a 'red herring'.

“Mayfield Sports Centre is a facility we are very proud of, and we have no problems hosting local football finals and games, as well as top level amateur rugby league and professional rugby league. We are confident that the facility is better than most in the North West Counties Football League. However, semi-professional football is an expensive business with little help from the leagues, and whilst Mark Canning has tried to keep the team going, the obstacles and costs were clearly a bridge too far.

“Mayfield is currently, and at great cost, in the process of installing additional pitches at the Sports Centre, and we hope they will be available for use by sports teams soon.

“We wish Mark and all associated with Rochdale Town the very best in their future.”

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