Institute FC – Club Statement:
The Institute Board are both saddened and dismayed at the NIFL Board decision to impose automatic relegation in the current circumstances.
The club has consistently argued for the Premiership Committee and the NIFL Board to comply with the principle of sporting integrity and we believe that that principle has been severely compromised.
Our club position has also been to encourage the league to stay true to the concept of solidarity.
Adherence to this principle means that the league should work collectively to avoid decisions that would impose unnecessary or disproportional consequences on any individual club.
For this reason, we supported the promotion of teams from lower divisions but opposed the enforced relegation of teams who statistically may have survived if the season had been played to a natural conclusion.
Confusingly, all twelve Premiership clubs verbally agreed against enforced relegation but the NIFL Board have chosen to reject this opinion. Options were presented to expand and/or restructure the Premiership for the 2020/21 season and whilst there would have been some minor issues with these options we believe that they would still have represented a ‘least harm’ scenario.
Institute Football Club would like to thank the many clubs who have contacted us and who agree with our stance.
The club will reserve any further comment until the deliberations of the independent evaluation panel are known.