AFTER six years in the Blue Square North, having been there since the division was first created, Vauxhall Motors are preparing to say goodbye to the Football Conference and are gearing up for a return to the UniBond Premier League.
Mathematically they could still survive, but only if they win their remaining two games – they have not won three-in-a-row all season, win away from home, which they have not done this season and overturn a goal difference of -10.
All that is providing the teams above them get no more points from their remaining games, including the games in hand.
The odds are now stacked so heavily against the Motormen chairman Alan Bartlam has admitted that the club is now planning for life in the UniBond.
“It is sad, no club wants to be relegated but we have to look at ourselves and say we have done a frankly incredible job to maintain our place at this level for so long,” he said.
“We have operated on a budget so small that most clubs in this division would say it is impossible to compete. But we have proved time and again that we can.”
Promoted in 2004, Motors were saved from relegation two years ago when Halifax folded, but Bartlam is expecting no such reprieve this time.
“We have met with Carl Macauley and told him what the budget is for next season in the UniBond,” said Bartlam.
“It always made me laugh when the odds came out at the start of the season and Carl was always favourite to be the first manager out of work.
“It was never going to happen. I have seen former professionals as coaches in charge of rival clubs and some of them behave atrociously and I would not tolerate that. Carl has always run the club the right way in the right spirit.”
Motors had their best season ever last year, finishing 11th, but still had to cut their budget for this season.
“We had a great season last year but we still had to cut his budget and Carl managed that,” said Alan.
“Sadly we didn’t get the results and the league table doesn’t lie.”