WITH just five matches remaining, Saints face the possibility of being relegated from the Northern Areas Football Association (Nafa) Premier League.
This is the stark reality after the club was docked 11 points for not meeting financial obligations.
According to a Saints official, who asked not to be named, the club had to contribute an initial figure of R36000 towards the operational costs of Nafa by way of donation booklets and bingo tickets. This was expected of all the clubs who fall under the Nafa banner.
The figure was later reduced to R22000, of which Saints have paid only R6500. They were instructed to pay the balance in three instalments starting at the end of this month.
It is not clear if the points will be reinstated once the debt has been settled.
"With the financial burden [being placed on clubs] it is becoming extremely difficult for clubs to survive and it won't be long before many are forced to shut shop. This is certainly not the way to promote football," the official said. Saints are just three points ahead of tail-enders Swallows and seven points behind Stardrift. Ramblers are a further three points ahead.
With five matches remaining, the team, formed by past pupils of St Thomas High School, face a bleak future.
Meanwhile, the neck-and-neck race for the league title between Glenville and Bloom Callies continues at the weekend.
Glenville, who have a four- point lead and a match in hand, play Ramblers at the Track on Sunday.
In the first round, despite battling to avoid relegation, Ramblers held the log-leaders to a 1-1 draw.
"The going is getting tough but if we believe in ourselves we can hold on to win the league," Glenville's leading goalscorer and captain, John Barnes, said.
His dad was an avid Liverpool supporter, hence the name. However, Barnes is a Manchester United supporter.
"All the teams will come at us, just for the bragging rights of beating us," Barnes said.
"We still have to play Callies and that will be a crunch game especially since we have never beaten them in any competition in four years."
Callies also have a cross to bear when they play Ebenezer on Finnis 1 tomorrow.
In the first round, the title contenders lost 1-0. This time even a draw could prove costly especially with Glenville already having a four-point lead in the bank.
They have the better fixtures on paper, hosting struggling Chatty and Saints at the Windvogel fields tomorrow and Sunday respectively.
In-form Blackpool, who are the only team with a remote chance of overhauling the frontrunners should they not slip up, must score maximum points when they play struggling Chatty United in the second match at the Track on Sunday. They drew 1-1 in the first round.
Tomorrow: Bloom Callies v Ebenezer (Finnis 1); Shamrocks v Hotspurs (Malabar 2); Stardrift v Wolves (Marock Road); Swallows v West Lake (Gelvan 1). Sunday: Fairview Rovers v Park United; Blackpool v Chatty; Ramblers v Glenville; Helenvale v Saints (all Track)