AFC Crossleys have been allowed to withdraw their first team from the Premier Division of the Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL following a meeting with the league management committee on Monday evening.
Officials of the club, which plays matches at Illingworth Sports and Social Club, told league chiefs it had lost 25 players since the end of last season. Only one of last season’s first team squad remained.
League fixture secretary David Rattigan said Crossleys feared that the exodus would continue if they were made to play on in the top flight as even with new signings they were not strong enough.
“Rather than lose two teams the league has allowed them to continue to run just their reserve side in the second division,” he said.
He added that a strict ruling on players eligible to play had been agreed and that any new signings would need the consent of the league management committee.
AFC Crossleys must also fulfil their forthcoming Halifax FA.Cup game with Stump Cross.
AFC Crossleys were promoted to the Premier Division as runners-up to Stainland United in 2010-2011 and finished eighth of 12 teams in the top flight last season, when their reserves were champions of the bottom section.
This season, the firsts lost their opening four league games and conceded 21 goals while scoring eight.