LEAGUE chiefs say Worcester Raiders will not return to Claines Lane this month and insist: “It is not practical or right to keep reversing fixtures.”

Raiders have yet to play at home since promotion to the West Midlands (Regional) League (WMRL) Premier Division due to delayed redevelopment work being carried out by landlords Worcestershire FA.

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Saturday was supposed to signal a homecoming but scheduled opponents Wolverhampton Casuals announced today the fixture had been postponed. The call off has yet to be confirmed by Raiders.

Special dispensation from the national FA would allow Raiders to operate without normal ground grading requirements until March 31 2020 provided working floodlights, changing facilities and toilets for supporters are in place with any areas under construction sectioned off.

But despite the lights appearing, there is no sign of the other temporary facilities Raiders had been due to install.

The WMRL visited Claines Lane earlier this week ahead of meeting with FA Leagues Committee representatives, the people who now take responsibility for what happens next.

“We had to explain what we had seen and our take on it,” said WMRL chairperson Wendy Juggins.

“The FA is now dealing with it and they will come back to us once they have decided what will happen."

Asked about the next scheduled Raiders home fixture – against Wem Town on Saturday, October 26 – Juggins replied: “October is a no go, the game won’t be played at Claines Lane.”

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Raiders have completed 10 of 34 league fixtures this season with one being considered a home match after conceding home advantage to Pershore Town. 

The rest of the home games have been reversed, creating a cluster of matches back at Claines Lane in the second half of the season that Juggins revealed the league would be against adding to.

“We have told the club and the leagues committee that it is not practical or right to keep reversing fixtures,” she added.

“They only have 17 away matches and have already played nine. It has to be seen to be fair for everyone, particularly in a season with four promotion places out of the Premier Division.

“That said, we have to be guided by the leagues committee and go with whatever it decides to do.”

Juggins indicated the WMRL hoped to hear back from the FA by the end of tomorrow “at the latest”.

“The chairman of the leagues committee said they would come back to us as quickly as they could after discussing the matter with Worcestershire FA and Worcester Raiders,” she said.

Raiders chairman Kevin Jenkins declined to comment.

Worcestershire FA has been contacted for comment.