TURTON FC have been unsuccessful in their appeal against a decision by West Lancashire League officials to deny them a return to the Premier Division after failing to meet a ground improvement deadline.

The two-hour hearing took place at the Lancashire FA headquarters and was heard by a three-man FA panel with league and club officials in attendance.

West Lancashire League sides were told at their annual general meeting last June that improvements to grounds had to be completed by March 31 this year.

But the panel found in favour of the league stopping the Thomason Fold team from taking their place in the top-flight.

Chairman Peter Gray was "gutted" after the decision.

He said: "We felt we put up a strong argument and thought it went quite well and put across our points.

"Then we were brought back in for the decision which lasted 20 seconds and we did not get any reasons why because we will get them in a letter.

"We have just got to take stock of the situation and take a day or two to decide what to do next.

"There are further options open to us and will be looking into it.

"But we are in a bit of no-man's land and need to prepare for next season in Division One and try to go about the other things in the background.

"We tried our best but it was not good enough in the end.

"I am really disappointed for the lads as they worked hard to get promoted."

The FA have not responded to The Bolton News' request for a comment.