Despite having their relegation from the Championship North confirmed this week, Holywell Town are remaining positive and looking to the future.
The Wellmen, who finished third bottom of the formerly-named Huws Gray Alliance this season, had been left in limbo after the FAW’s initial 42-point deduction imposed on Bangor City for allegedly fielding ineligible players during the 2018-19 campaign.
Had the governing body’s decision stood, City would have been relegated and Holywell stayed up.
However, an appeal hearing this week decided to cut the penalty to 21 points after Bangor produced new evidence which revealed the club had only entered into a professional contact with a player from January 1, and not November 2018 as had been alleged. The initial punishment was a 33-point deduction. A further nine-point cut related to another alleged transgression was thrown out.
The overall halving of the penalty meant the Citizens stayed up on goal difference.
Holywell now drop into the Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) for the 2019-20 season.
A statement from the Flintshire club said: “The last month has held a degree of uncertainty for the club, pending the FAW’s decision regarding Bangor City FC.
“Behind the scenes, however, recruitment and development has been ongoing to work towards a better future for Holywell Town FC.
“We are delighted to announce a new Board of Directors, set up to oversee a new club structure which encompasses all teams under the Holywell Town banner. Their aim is to ensure a greater level of community engagement, creating a hub for the wider community, and providing the town with a football club they deserve.”
First team manager Johnny Haseldin has committed to the club for the 2019-20 season, despite relegation to Tier 3.
He said: “The last couple of weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions, however with the announcement by the FAW, we can now finally put this to bed and concentrate, without distraction, with our preparations for the season ahead.
“The team have all been aware of what’s happening, and the potential outcome. Yet every one of them, from those who have stayed, to new signings, have not been deterred by it. We are looking forward and remain fully focused on being at peak physical fitness and ability for the forthcoming season.
“The ongoing support of the fans has been tremendous and seeing what’s going on behind the scenes within the club, shows that there are exciting times ahead for Holywell Town and the wider community, which I am proud to be a part of.
“The club remains positive that we can continue to create an inclusive community asset, and cannot wait to see what the 2019-20 season has in store for all of our teams.”