Accrington Stanley & Ground Grading

One of the more welcome surprises of the last ten years or so was the return to the Football League of Accrington Stanley. The original club bearing that name famously resigned from the league in 1962 and, in doing so, became one of those great rarities – a Football League club that doesn’t even complete the season. A new club was founded in 1968 bearing the same name (although it didn’t begin league football until 1970), and fought their way back to promotion back into the League in 2006. For many Stanley supporters, who felt that the club has resigned its place in the League in haste and that the League accepted it too readily, this was vindication in itself. Now, however, there are concerns amongst the clubs supporters that they may be in danger of losing a piece of their identity. The problem is that old thorn in the side of promotion between the Blue Square Premier and League Two – ground-grading. During the 1990s, there was a major problem with the Conference champions. A lot of the time, their grounds weren’t up to the exacting standards required by the Football League and three clubs missed out on automatic promotion – Macclesfield Town, Kidderminster Harriers and Stevenage Borough. Kidderminster and Macclesfield eventually made their way into the league, but Stevenage have yet to make it that far again....

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