CHARD Town are making plans to relocate in order to avoid relegation from the Toolstation Western League.

Club chairman Lyndsey Gage told the Chard & Ilminster News that their place in the Western League – they are currently eighth out of 22 teams in the First Division table – is at risk due to the slope of the pitch at Zembard Lane.

As it stands, the club had not received confirmation from the FA, but their understanding is that they will be relegated regardless of where they finish in the final league standings.

That is unless they can relocate to another ground, and Gage said they were at a “positive stage” in planning for a move.

The slope of the pitch led to their ground losing its FA grading, but it has not had consequences in terms of their league status over the last four years.

Now, however, the Southern League is being restructured for next season, with a knock-on effect for the Western League below.

The club can’t level out the pitch at Zembard Lane, and should they be unable to relocate, there is a chance that they could end up in Division 1 West of the Somerset County League – below Ilminster Town in the Premier Division.

Gage feels that the club has been singled out, as other clubs have sloped pitches but do not face the same fate.

Once confirmation arrives from the FA, the Chard committee will look for the best way forward, but Gage added: “We will be fighting tooth and nail to stay in the league.”