Fylde RFC revealed they have been planning for relegation for several months – and foremost among those plans is to spend no more than one season in National Two North.
Though Fylde’s relegation after seven seasons in the third tier of English rugby is not yet mathematically certain, it is surely the fate of the club, who have lost their last 10 games and had three wins all season.
Chairman of rugby Roger Banks accepts as much and says lessons have been learned.
Banks told The Gazette: “We have been planning for this since November or December. When I found out last April that Paul Arnold was standing down, I asked if there had been any player retention or recruitment for the following season and there had not.
“Assembling a squad for this season was a step too far but we resolved to plan early for next season. We can’t announce anything yet but we are well on with our plans or next season’s squad.”
Banks accepts the clouds of relegation have silver linings as Fylde will be playing in a regional league in which they should be more competitive, though he insists the goal will be a return to National One at the earliest chance.
He added: “We want to play at the highest level possible and the plan is for one season in National Two.
“Rugby does work in cycles. We have young players who are developing and will benefit from the experiences of this season.
“There is no central funding but the club is in a healthy shape and improvements are being made off the field.
“The committee has done a fantastic job to turn things around, with the companies we’ve got involved, the community project and other developments.
“Obviously we depend on revenue and having more derbies next season will protect us financially.
“Until the last home game, the gates had held up well this season but we realise everyone wants to watch a winning team.”