NORTHWICH Victoria could host opponents in the Conference next season at a ground fit for football at a lower level.

However their temporary home, wherever it may be, would have to be brought up to scratch by next March to avoid the club being relegated again for breaking the rules.

The team is currently placed second in the Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division.

“A promoted club must first satisfy the criteria for the competition in which it plays,” said a spokesman for the Conference.

“So for Step Three, that’s a C ground grading.

“It then has until March 31 the same season to for that stadium to reach the standards expected for Step Two.”

Earlier this week, Vics owner Jim Rushe revealed that he had asked Skelmersdale United – a rival more than 30 miles away in a different county –to host his club’s home matches next term.

He is waiting for league bosses to approve the agreement, which is initially for a single season.

They plan to inspect Skelmersdale’s West Lancashire College Stadium before the end of the month to check it meets the required to host Premier Division matches.

The Football Conference spokesman added: “As long as the ground is eligible for a team playing as a member of the league in which it is currently in, it will have the extra time to meet the criteria for its new status if it is promoted.”

Skelmersdale, sixth in Evo-Stik NPL Division One North, initially shared their home patch with Lancashire neighbours Burscough at the start of the current campaign.

The Linnets, scheduled opponents of Northwich at Nantwich Town’s Weaver Stadium next Tuesday, have since returned to their Victoria Park home.