Team Bath today (Thursday) regrettably announces the resignation of Team Bath FC from the Blue Square Conference at the end of this season.
The decision was taken after the Blue Square Conference ruled that the club could not, in its current format, win promotion to its Premier division – and hence on to the Football League.
Team Bath FC is fully committed to fulfilling its remaining fixtures this season.
Team Bath FC has achieved five promotions in just nine seasons and has played in Blue Square South for the first time this season. It also reached the first round proper of the FA Cup on three occasions, in 2002 becoming the first university side to do so for 122 years.
Today’s decision will not affect the highly successful University of Bath teams that compete in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitions, or the intramural or interdepartmental competitions at the University, or the hundreds of youngsters who train and compete under the TeamBath Academy and TeamBath Arsenal banners.
Ged Roddy, Director of Sport at the University of Bath and Manager of TeamBath FC, said: “TeamBath FC has been an ambitious club and our long-term goal has always been to secure a place in the Football League.
“Unfortunately the letter from the Blue Square Conference said that no further promotions would be possible for us, thereby denying us the opportunity to progress.
“Our dream has always been to promote a student football team into the Football League and in effect the Conference’s decision means the club has gone as far as it can go without making significant changes to its structure.
“As a trailblazer for university sport TeamBath FC is unique and we feel that its structure has served us well and is a fitting and robust model for the 21st century. As a result, we don’t want to change that model.
“We would like to thank the FA and particularly the Somerset FA for their outstanding support they have given over the years. We are privileged and proud to have had the opportunity to represent student sport in FA competitions, particularly in the FA Cup.
“It is particularly disappointing that as a result of the board of the Conference’s decision, we will have to give up our hard-fought membership of FA Cup competitions.
“We would also like to thank Ted Baker, Kukri, our Chairman, John Laycock, and our other benefactors for their support over the years.
“Thanks too to the staff and students of the University of Bath who have supported us over the last decade on what has been an incredible journey. On behalf of the players, thanks too to every supporter that has followed us home and away, and watched us in all parts of the country.
“I would like to extend my special thanks to the coaching staff, Andy Tillson and Brian Parkin, the backroom staff, Phil Searle, and all of the other coaches and staff that have worked with us over the last 10 years.
“Our heartfelt thanks go to every single player that has pulled on the blue and gold shirt over the years.
“It is heartening at this time to see many of our graduates are playing professionally or coaching, taking forward the footballing principles and philosophy that we have promoted at TeamBath.
“To all of our former players, wherever you are playing or coaching, we trust that in your future careers you will do your very best to promote the five key characteristics of TeamBath football.”
The University of Bath has one of the leading university sports departments in the UK. Under its TeamBath brand, its success is based on the expertise and dedication of staff, and its excellent facilities, used by the community and Olympic medal winners alike.
Members of the media who require further information can contact the TeamBath Press Office at Matchtight Ltd on (01225) 383518 or 01225 443998 or see the TeamBath website at www.teambath.com
Posted: Thursday 8 April 2009