HARWICH and Parkeston’s future has been thrown into fresh doubt after deciding to drop down another level.

The Shrimpers are reeling from a “mass exodus” of players and numbers at training sessions have failed to reach double figures.

As a result, the club have been granted permission from the Essex and Suffolk Border League to slide from the premier division into division one.

Chairman Tony Armstrong is still hopeful the club will be a competitive outfit next season, albeit at a lesser standard.

However, he admits the situation is “grim” and also confirmed that the club have been forced to cancel their opening two pre-season friendlies.

“It’s been a mass exodus of players,” said stalwart Armstrong.

“We’ve lost our entire first team, plus quite a few of our reserve players.

“As a result, we requested permission from the league to move out of the premier division and into division one.

“We felt we had to make that decision, to make sure the club stays in existence."

For the full story, see this week's Standard.