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Gateshead FC play-off hopes rocked after National League statement on EFL requirements

Gateshead have been denied a place in the National League play-offs over a lease issue at the International Stadium. Rob Elliot’s side have battled against an intense fixture schedule in recent weeks but finally confirmed their top seven place when Luke Hannant twice scored in a 2-1 win over league champions Chesterfield on Monday night.

The Heed went on to bring a successful end to their league campaign on Saturday when captain Greg Olley and defender Louis Storey helped their side to a 2-1 home victory against potential play-off opponents Bromley.

However, in a statement released by the National League on Sunday afternoon, it has been confirmed that a leasing issue over the International Stadium has brought a halt to the Heed’s plans for the play-off tie against Solihull Moors on Tuesday night.

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EFL regulations require members clubs to have a ten-year security of tender in place on their home stadium and Gateshead’s request to meet the requirement required for clubs to enter the EFL has led to their removal after Gateshead Council denied their request.

A statement from the National League read: “The National League is extremely disappointed to announce that following a decision of the EFL, Gateshead Football Club has failed to meet the entry criteria for membership to the EFL. As a result of the decision Gateshead will not be permitted to participate.

“This decision is based on the club failing to meet the 10-year security of tenure at their stadium, required for new teams applying to enter the EFL which was required by 1 March 2024.

“The club requested a 10-year security of tenure from Gateshead Council. This was refused. The National League wrote to the council in support of the application by the club highlighting the impact on the club, its supporters, and the local community if the security was not given.

“Unfortunately, the response received was not supportive of the club’s requirements and placed the club at risk of a refusal of membership to the EFL and therefore forfeiture of any right to participate in the play-offs.

“On 28 March 2024, following the deadline for licence applications to the EFL had passed, the Council offered options to the club. However, in the opinion of the EFL these options still did not satisfy their requirements.

“The National League made representations to the EFL and are disappointed with the decision whilst at the same time recognise the entry requirements are clearly stated in the EFL rules. The National League supported an appeal by the club which was denied by an EFL arbitration panel.



Gateshead coach Rob Elliot
Gateshead coach Rob Elliot

“Whilst the club may consider further challenge, the current position under the rules is that the club will not be eligible to participate in the play-offs this season. Under the rules, the club cannot be replaced, and they will be removed from the planned fixture on Tuesday 23 April 2024. The outcome of this is that Solihull Moors will get a bye to the semi-finals.”

Gateshead responded with a statement confirming their stance and revealed no further comments would be made ‘due to the legality of this matter.”

The statement in full read: “Gateshead Football Club are extremely disappointed to find ourselves in the position as outlined in statements by the EFL and the National League.

“Rest assured, we will continue to challenge both on their decisions, and we will endeavour to ensure that footballing matters are decided on the pitch. There, our players and staff remain 100% focused on the task in hand, and we wish to go on record to express our gratitude to the National League for supporting our challenge to the EFL. Due to the legality of this matter, no further comments will be made by Gateshead FC until appropriate.”

Gateshead have also reached the FA Trophy Final once again this season and will face Solihull Moors at Wembley on Saturday 11th May.

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/gateshead-fc-play-hopes-rocked-29034318

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