UPDATED: Cirencester Town announce shock resignation from the Southern League and join Hellenic League - new league allocations announced by the FA

John Brough guided Cirencester Town to sixth place in Southern League Division One Central -Credit:Anna Lythgoe
John Brough guided Cirencester Town to sixth place in Southern League Division One Central -Credit:Anna Lythgoe

Cirencester Town have announced they are resigning from the Southern League, and taking voluntary relegation for the 2024-5 season, and will play in the hellenic League Premier Division.

John Brough’s side finished sixth in Southern League Division One Central last season, missing the play-offs by two points, and had hoped to be moved back to the Southern Division alongside fellow county sides Bishop’s Cleeve and newly-promoted Cinderford Town for next season.

But in a club statement issued on Friday morning, they said: “As many of you will be aware, there has been a lot of talk in the last few days regarding the status of Cirencester Town Football Club and what league we will be competing in next season.

“Sadly, we have requested a voluntary relegation for the 2024-2025 season due to various reasons and we will be resigning from the Southern Football League with immediate effect. “We felt it was only right to make our supporters and members aware of this change before the league allocations are announced by the FA. “A meeting date will be announced in the next 14 days so our members and supporters can convene to hear more detail and information regarding this decision.”

The FA announced the league allocations for the new season, with Forest Green Rovers dropping into the National League alongside fellow relegated side Sutton United, and promoted sides Boston United, Braintree Town, Tamworth and Yeovil Town.

Gloucester City will play in the Southern League Premier South, with Taunton Town and Havant and Waterlooville also dropping down, while Chertsey Town, Forme Town, Marlow and Wimborne Town are promoted.

With Cirencester’s voluntary relegation, Bishop’s Cleeve, Evesham United and newly-promoted Cinderford Town will line up in Southern League Division One South.

They will face three trips to Cornwall next season, with Mousehole joined at this level by Helston Athletic and Falmouth Town, as well as Dorset side Shaftesbury and relegated Didcot Town.

The Hellenic League Premier Division, with new additions in Cirencester and promoted Hartpury University, now has nine Gloucestershire sides in it, with Brimscombe & Thrupp, Fairford Town, Longlevens, Lydney Town, Slimbridge, Thornbury Town and Tuffley Rovers also in the 20-team league.

Division One will have 22 sides, as Moreton Rangers are reprieved from relegation after finishing bottom, but saved by the mid-season withdrawal of Bourton Rovers.

They are joined by Cheltenham Saracens, Newent Town, Shortwood United Stonehouse Town and Tytherington Rocks, with several sides joining.

Oxfordshire Senior League champions Carterton are promoted, as are Wellington from the Herefordshire Premier, Midland League Division Two winners Redditch Borough and Ludlow from the Shropshire Premier.

Droitwich Spa are transferred from the Midland League Division One, and Bewdley Town come down from the Midland League Premier.

Gloucestershire County League champions Avonmouth join the Western League Division One, which also sees Calne Town and Devizes Town transferred from the Hellenic League.

National League: AFC Fylde, Aldershot Town, Altrincham, Barnet, Boston United, Braintree Town, Dagenham and Redbridge, Eastleigh, Ebbsfleet United, FC Halfiax Town, Forest Green Rovers, Gateshead, Hartlepool United, Maidenhead United, Oldham Athletic, Rochdale, Solihull Moors, Southend United, Sutton United, Tamworth, Wealdstone, Woking, Yeovil Town, York City

Southern League Premier South: AFC Totton, Basingstoke Town, Bracknell Town, Chertsey Town, Dorchester Town, Frome Town, Gloucester City, Gosport Borough, Hanwell Town, Hungerford Town, Havant and Waterlooville, Marlow, Merthyr Town, Plymouth Parkway, Poole Town, Sholing, Swindon Supermarine, Taunton Town, Tiverton Town, Walton and Hersham, Wimborne Town, Winchester City

Southern League Division One South: Bashley, Bemerton Heath Harlequins, Biderford, Bishop’s Cleeve, Bristol Manor Farm, Cinderford Town, Cribbs, Didcot Town, Evesham United, Exmouth Town, Falmouth Town, Helston Athletic, Larkhall Athletic, Malvern Town, Melksham Town, Mousehole, Shaftesbury, Tavistock, Thatcham Town, Westbury United, Willand Rovers, Yate Town

Hellenic League Premier Division: Brimscombe & Thrupp, Cirencester Town, Corsham Town, Fairford Town, Hartpury University, Hereford Lads Club, Hereford Pegasus, Highworth Town, Longlevens, Lydney Town, Malmesbury Victoria, Mangotsfield United, Pershore Town, Roman Glass St George, Royal Wootton Bassett Town, Slimbridge, Thornbury Town, Tuffley Rovers, Westfields, Worcester Raiders

Hellenic League Division One: Abingdon United, Bewdley Town, Carterton, Cheltenham Saracens, Chipping Sodbury Town, Clanfield 85, Droitwich Spa, FC Stratford, FC Bristol, Kidlington Reserves, Long Crendon, Ludlow, Moreton Rangers, Newent Town, Redditch Borough, Shortwood United, Southam United, Sporting Club Inkberrow, Stonehouse Town, Tytherington Rocks, Wantage Town, Wellington