“WE WOULD’VE done it anyway” was the defiant message from Weymouth chairman Ian White with the Terras set to stay in the Vanarama National League for another season.
Chiefs yesterday announced clubs in the first tier of non-League had voted to continue play, without relegation to Step 2.
The outcome still needs to be ratified by the FA, but is expected to pass without difficulty.
Brian Stock’s men are currently clear of the National League relegation zone in 20th of 23 clubs but had taken three wins from five after completing six impressive January signings.
And the uptick in fortunes has given White sufficient optimism that “footballing talent” alone would have preserved the Terras’ status in Step 1.
He told Echosport: “We are (happy), of course, but I’m still certain we would’ve done it under our own footballing talent anyway.
“I think Brian was beginning to turn it around and we’re in a much better place than we were a month ago. We would’ve done it anyway.
“It means we’re not going to be relegated. If I was to be truthful, it will give us a fairer crack at it.
“Everything that’s happened in this last year, with the pandemic and hundreds of thousands of deaths, it’s been a weird 12 months for Weymouth Football Club as well.
“None of us expected to be in the National League quite this quickly. It will give us a chance to look at ourselves and try and get into a position where we feel more confident.
“That’s coming on the pitch now, anyway.”
Despite the pandemic, Weymouth have achieved a promotion and consolidation in little over six months.
White added: “I don’t want to look at it and say it’s worked in our favour, because I still feel we would’ve pulled ourselves away from trouble.
“I had the confidence in Brian and it’s not been an easy ride for Brian. You can’t turn around and say this has been a normal season – it certainly hasn’t.”
Step 2 clubs, however, have elected to null and void their season.
Divergent paths for Steps 1 and 2 came about over a funding row with the Government, who would only offer loans totalling £11m rather than grants with income badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This forced the National League to offer four resolutions to its member clubs, and has resulted in two of its three leagues being cancelled.
Questions are also looming over the integrity of the National League without relegation and whether more clubs will follow the plight of Dover, who announced they will not fulfil fixtures due to financial hardship.