Boston Town chairman Mick Vines hails ‘brilliant’ news for UCL future

Hands up who loves the UCL! Michael Wood in action for Town against derby rivals Sleaford.
Hands up who loves the UCL! Michael Wood in action for Town against derby rivals Sleaford.

BOSTON Town chairman Mick Vines has described news that the United Counties League will not be scrapped as ‘brilliant’.

The Football Association have decided against controversial plans to do away with the UCL as part of a shake-up of lower-tier football.

This would have meant the Poachers moving north to play in the Northern Counties East League.

However, Vines is in celebratory mood as the safeguarding of the UCL will mean plenty of derby games for the Premier Division side.

“It’s brilliant news,” he told The Standard.

“We’ve got so many local derbies in our division, all within about a 35-mile radius.

“Keeping the UCL has got to be good for us.”

Sleaford Town, Holbeach United, Spalding United, Deeping Rangers and Blackstones offer plenty of Lincolnshire derbies.

Meanwhile, Yaxley, Peterborough Northern Star and King’s Lynn Town are all within close proximity.

Although Vines admits this does cause some frustrations, he knows he would miss the rivalries, as well as the revenue which comes from these visiting fans.

“It’s not always easy as so many teams are in the same pot, going for the same players, but we enjoy the rivalry,” he added.

“We like playing teams like Sleaford and Spalding, and we always have banter with Holbeach.

“This is good news for everybody, the FA have seen sense.”

The FA’s idea was to reduce the number of Step Five leagues in the non-league pyramid from 14 to 12.

The UCL – along with the Sussex League – were earmarked for the axe, but following a lengthy battle by league officials, clubs and fans, the FA has shelved the plan.

The FA also announced that, in order to continue to compete at Step Five, all clubs must meet the National Ground Grading Category F in full by March 31, 2013.

Clubs that do not meet these requirements will be relegated to an appropriate Step Six division or competition.

In the UCL Premier Division’s case, that is UCL Division One.

UCL chairman John Weeks said: “The ChromaSport and Trophies United Counties Football League wish to thank all concerned for their united support against those initial suggestions. Leagues at Step Five can now focus on their future with the knowledge that our voice has not only been heard but acted upon.”

Boston Town have competed in the UCL for the past two decades.