WHEREVER Braintree Town find themselves playing football next year, chairman Lee Harding is not predicting a catastrophic outcome for the Iron.

A tough season back in the Vanarama National League this year has led to the Iron making a quick return to step two in the non-league footballing pyramid.

They are due to entertain AFC Fylde in their penultimate home game of the season on Saturday, but despite their relegation from the top flight being confirmed already, where exactly they will be heading is still a matter of debate.

Due to Braintree’s geographical position, it could just as easily be the National League North where they get placed as it could be the South division from where they secured promotion last year.

Harding said the south was the preferred option as a place among northern clubs would bring extra costs in terms of travelling for Iron and corresponding away crowds at Cressing Road could also dip.

There is also the fact that that the relative strength of clubs in the north section compared with those in the south means it could prove a tougher one to then get back out of to move back to the top flight.

Despite all of that, though, the Iron chairman said there was still a strong appetite for whatever step-two division they were placed in and very little for a suggestion that they should bypass a move into National League North and drop straight into the Isthmian League to try to save cash.

Harding said: “The reaction of the majority of the board is that we will take whatever is thrown at us whether it is the North or the South that we’re placed in.

“There isn’t much support for dropping down into step three or four.

“If it’s the north then I’m sure we’ll take it.

“Travel costs will be more and we’ll have to look at the players that we attract, but it is still a good level of football.

“If we are given the opportunity, then we would prefer the south as it’s an easier league than the north.

“You only have to look at where the sides who came up last year are in the current table – the two north ones are in the play-offs and the two from the south have been battling relegation.

“But either way, we will have a go at it and we will be up for it.

"With the budget that we have available to spend, it’s probably a sensible level for us to be at at this moment.”