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Gateshead have been removed from the National League play-offs due to an alleged failure to meet the criteria for membership to the English Football League.

The EFL explained the decision in a statement on Sunday, confirming Solihull Moors, who had been due to face Gateshead in the play-offs, will instead get a bye to the semi-finals.

Gateshead say they are “extremely disappointed” by the decision and intend to contest it.

The EFL stated the failure to meet its criteria was because the club had been “unable to attain security of tenure to play matches at its stadium for a minimum of 10 seasons”.

The National League state the club requested a 10-year security of tenure from Gateshead Council, but this was refused.

Gateshead Council has been contacted for comment.

“Unfortunately, the response received was not supportive of the club’s requirements and placed the club at risk of a refusal of membership to the EFL and therefore forfeiture of any right to participate in the play-offs,” a National League statement read.

The EFL added: As the EFL strongly believes in the principles of promotion and relegation it is therefore highly disappointing that appropriate solutions have not been put in place over the previous two-year period, as avoidable circumstances are preventing Gateshead from progressing up the pyramid even if the club achieves success through sporting merit.”

“We will endeavour to ensure footballing matters are decided on the pitch,” a Gateshead statement read.

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