Leading Peterborough League club Netherton United have put their bid for promotion to the United Counties League on hold.
It was widely expected the Premier Division title challengers would step up to step 6 football at the end of this season.
But funding implications have caused the club to write to the FA to request its application for promotion be delayed.
Netherton have been hit by the double blow of having to fund its own pavilion caretaker service, and of self-funding ground improvements necessary to sustain the club at United Counties level.
Club Chairman Derek Nimmo said: “We have already invested in excess of £100,000 of our own money in our facilities which we feel very proud of.
“The essence of our community club is that we take responsibilities for our own costs, and, whilst we very much welcome the support and sponsorship we attract from local and family businesses, such support must always be matched by our sustainable contributions.”
To underwrite the club’s ambitions Netherton is already engaged with Peterborough City Council with a view to extending its lease at the Grange, making ground improvement costs a worthwhile investment. There are a number of other initiatives in the pipeline all aimed at improving football at every level.
Saturday first team manager Jon Harrison added: “I am disappointed, but, knowing about the situation I can’t help but agree with the committee. I would hate the club to find itself in the same position as Whittlesey were earlier in the season.
“We enjoy playing in the Premier League, it is always a good standard and competitive so we are happy continuing at this level.
“I am now even more ambitious to win the President’s Trophy and to try and win for Netherton a first ever Premier League title.”
Netherton are through to the final of the league’s President’s Shield. They have a key Premier Division match at title rivals Pinchbeck on Saturday (March 11).
Netherton run 25 teams for men, ladies, youngsters and veterans. Their youngest active player is five, their oldest is a walking footballer aged 81.
Whittlesey stepped up to the United Counties League from the Peterborough League at the end of last season, but financial concerns caused them to pull out of the competition after just 10 matches in September.
Pinchbeck’s bid to join the United Counties League at the end of this season has been scuppered by inadequate facilities.