Tranmere Rovers Chairman Mark Palios has issued a statement following relegation to the Conference.
Rovers were defeated 3-2 by Plymouth Argyle on Saturday in a game which they really needed to win to have any hopes of staying in the Football League.
Tranmere have only won one game in their previous ten league fixtures and they will join Cheltenham Town in the Conference next season.
“This is a dark day in the history of Tranmere Rovers and one I never hoped to see. There is no glossing over the fact that relegation is a huge blow to a proud club which has survived for 94 years in the Football League. ”
“When Nicola and I came to the club in August, we did so because we feared that, given all the problems of the previous season and many years of under-investment in the club, two things were likely to happen if no-one intervened – first that the club would be relegated and second that as a consequence of that, it was entirely possible that the club would fall into administration.”
“I am desperately sorry that we were not able to avert relegation, but we can at least ensure that the club remains financially viable, and returns next season ready to fight it’s way back into the league. It’s devastating today but not disastrous tomorrow.”
“Right now, everyone will be hurting and some of you will be angry at where we find ourselves. Although the anger is painful to hear, what it does tell me is that you still care about the club – what would really kill us is apathy.”
“The support we have had at Prenton Park and on the road this season has been nothing short of fantastic. In some very testing times you have travelled in large numbers over long distances and backed the team throughout, while our home attendances have increase despite our poor form. For that, we thank every single one of you. You are Tranmere Rovers.”
As Palios had said in his statement, the Rovers relegation ends their 94 year stay in the Football League, and having been relegated from League One last season, the club were hoping for an immediate return.
Unfortunately for Tranmere, that wasn’t the case. Rob Edwards, who took over from Ronnie Moore in the Rovers relegation from League One, was sacked in October. He was replaced a week later by Micky Adams, who left the club before its defeat against Plymouth on Saturday.
The rebuilding process will now start, and Tranmere will be aware that an immediate return to the Football League isn’t an easy outcome, with sides often taking more than one season to regain promotion.