Poole Town chairman Chris Reeves believes local rivals Hamworthy United will bounce back after their recent withdrawal from the Southern League.
The Dolphins experienced their own financial difficulties in the 1990s, after they were forced out of Poole Stadium, and even ground shared with the Hammers before dropping out of the Southern League completely.
Reeves said: “All those 25 or so years ago when we found ourselves homeless and having to play on a public rec, we were in a much poorer position than Hamworthy are now.
“Hamworthy still have their ground and are in a much better place to get back up the pyramid than we were back then. As I understand it, they have the funding in place for the new stand they need along with the planning permission, so hopefully they can start the climb back.”
Hamworthy were promoted from the Wessex League in the 2021/22 season, but ran into complications building a new stand to comply with the ground regulations of the higher division, forcing them to ground share with Weymouth at the start of this campaign.
Wessex League secretary Steve Smith said: “I feel sorry for Hamworthy. They were a very well-run club and we enjoyed having them in our league, it was always a nice place to go.
“I feel they were definitely victims of the circumstances, there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious as a club. However, their ground is owned by the Dorset FA so when it needed upgrading it was a very longwinded process.”
Hamworthy were competing against clubs like Christchurch during their 21/22 title-winning campaign, and Church secretary Ali Miller believes that it is difficult for any club to financially make the step up to the higher division.
“You must have a big pot behind you to actually be able to sustain the promotion. It’s far more expensive to be up in the Southern League because the area that it covers is massive. Some of the clubs are all the way down in Cornwall, whereas our furthest is probably Portsmouth, so it’s a bit of a jump.”