MARSKE UNITED have raised sufficient funds to guarantee their long-term survival – but the club have been forced to withdraw from the Northern Premier League with immediate effect and intend to begin next season at a lower level in the non-league pyramid.

Marske announced that they were in financial difficulty last month, and attempted to raise £120,000 to enable them to complete the current season.

They failed to meet their fundraising target, but have successfully raised enough money to secure the future of the club, which was at serious risk.

As a result, Marske United will continue to exist next season, and will be able to remain at their current Mount Pleasant home.

A club statement said: “Our village football team has punched above its weight for many years, achieving exceptional success along the way, but unfortunately stretched itself too far and lived beyond its means. The price of a rapid rise through the leagues is exponential for a volunteer ran football club.

“Ever increasing travel, wage and maintenance costs, alongside greater infrastructure requirements and the pressures on unpaid volunteers are just some of the many challenges faced by non-league football clubs throughout the region and across the country.

“These issues combined with our own unique circumstances such as floodlight sabotage, pitch related postponements, and material delays in last summer’s essential drainage work which prevented any pre-season home friendly revenue ultimately brought an existential threat to Marske United, which has been fighting to survive from week to week.

“Thanks to the fundraising efforts, and significant financial contributions from the new directors, we now have enough funds to service and stabilise the critical concerns needed to ensure our football club can continue to exist.

“If this money had not been raised, then Marske United would not have been allowed to return in any familiar name, shape or form at any level, or play at Mount Pleasant ever again. The club has been saved.”

However, the club have been forced to withdraw from the Northern Premier League, and are yet to discover what level they will be playing at next season.

The statement said: “With a heavy heart, the club informed the Northern Premier League and the FA of our decision to withdraw from the Northern Premier League Premier Division which has been accepted.

“Discussions as to which league the Marske United first team will play in next season are already underway. A final decision will be ratified by the FA at the end of the season.”