SOUTH Shields have been unsuccessful in their legal bid to earn promotion to the Vanarama National League North.

Shields were 12 points clear at the top of the Northern Premier League and destined to go up before the FA decided to void the 2019/20 campaign for steps 3-7.

Therefore, the Mariners produced a legal challenge which was backed by hundreds of clubs across the country including Ilkley Town and Otley Town.

However, an arbitration hearing dismissed the claims and the North East club will now remain in the NPL.

Town issued this statement on their website: "Otley Town AFC is clearly very disappointed with the decision that has been made, but we are proud that we stood by our principles in supporting South Shields in this challenge against the FA's initial decision.

"We would like to thank all members for their support during these strange times and look forward to welcoming everybody back to The Old Showground when it is safe to do so.

"Preparations for next season are continuing behind the scenes as we get ready for football to return."