Shaw Lane Aquaforce will be known as Barnsley Town FC from next season after being forced to change their name.
Sides who play in Evo-Stik Division One and above are not allowed to have the name of any sponsor or financial contributor in their club name, according to FA kit and advertising regulations. Craig Wood owns Barnsley-based firm Aquaforce Plumbing Solutions as well as the club, who are chasing a fifth straight promotion despite their 17-match unbeaten run ending on Tuesday.
"The name change is disappointing but I think it could be a good thing for us in the long run," Wood the Chronicle.
"I have mixed emotions because Shaw Lane Aquaforce has been a name that has caught a lot of people's attention during our meteoric rise up the leagues, so it will be a shame to lose it. We have also sold a lot of merchandise and clothing to our fans and junior players that has Aquaforce on it. We have lots of that in stock and it will be a massive cost to get rid of it and get new Barnsley Town stuff.
"But that is what we will have to do. We're looking at the positive side. The name change is a chance to rebrand and incorporate the whole town of Barnsley, not just Shaw Lane.
"People outside of Barnsley don't know where Shaw Lane Aquaforce is based. If we go up this season, our scores in the Evo-Stik Premier will flash up on Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday and we want people to realise we are from Barnsley."
There was a vote on the name change at Shaw Lane on Monday night for club officials and the managers of the Aquaforce youth teams which include sides from under sevens to under 18s.
Wood said: "Barnsley Town FC was chosen by 12 votes to one, with me being the one. I wanted AFC Barnsley but I am happy to go with the consensus. We are also changing the kit to blue and red, because our junior teams used to be Barugh JFC who played in red and we wanted to keep the blue of Aquaforce. It will be like Crystal Palace's kit."
The Shaw Laners should have been forced to drop the 'Aquaforce' from their name once they were promoted to the Evo-Stik last season but it was not mentioned to them until this season. Wood said: "It was an oversight by either the league or the FA, or both. It is quite unusual for a team with a name like ours to play so high up so I don't think anyone realised. They should have told us when we got promoted but we weren't made aware of it until November. I have accepted that oversight and we'll just get on with it."
Aquaforce – who were a Sunday League outfit just five years ago – had won 15 and drawn two of their previous 17 matches before they lost 3-2 at third-placed Coalville Town on Tuesday. The home team scored twice in four minutes midway through the first half. James Walshaw pulled one back for the Ducks after an hour but Jono Wafula was sent off for a second yellow card and Coalville got a third. Adam Priestley netted the visitors' second in injury-time.
Aquaforce are now seven points behind Stafford Rangers who have played two games more but occupy the one automatic promotion place into the Evo-Stik Premier, which is a division below the National League North. Shaw Lane thrashed mid-table Spalding United 5-0 on Saturday. Priestley netted twice with Walshaw, Gavin Allott and Lee Bennett also scoring.