SOMERSET will have to wait until next week at the earliest for final confirmation they will remain a Division One side after the ECB's inspection at the County Ground on Friday and Middlesex's decision to appeal a points deduction.

Phil Whitticase, a senior Cricket Liaison Officer (CLO) at the ECB, visited Taunton to carry out an inspection of the wicket after it was deemed 'below average' by the match CLO Wayne Noon.

READ MORE: Middlesex chief slams 'dreadful' Taunton pitch and brands Somerset 'a disgrace'

As it is Somerset's first such ranking, they remain highly unlikely to face censure, as clubs need to have been found to prepare two 'below average' pitches within 12 months to suffer a penalty.

Somerset are not expecting to find the situation altered and remain wholly confident their Division One status will be finalised next week.

The club have put the ECB's delay in announcing a decision until next week down to standard protocol in such situations.

That has not stopped fans taking to social media to express their displeasure, however, as the following tweets show.

According to official ECB guidelines, for a pitch to be marked as 'poor' it must have displayed "excessive unevenness of bounce for any bowler at any stage of the match" - the lack of which should count in Somerset's favour.

In an issue separate to the pitch which could yet change the situation, Middlesex are to request an ECB hearing regarding their two-point deduction for a slow over rate in the match against Surrey at The Oval in August.

That match was abandoned early on the fourth day when a crossbow bolt was fired on to the pitch, with Middlesex arguing they were denied the opportunity to rectify their earlier slow overs.

Middlesex chief executive Richard Goatley told ESPN Cricinfo: "We feel what has happened to us in injust.

"We have an extremely strong case for having those points reinstated and my role, as chief executive, is to make that case on behalf of the club and our supporters to the ECB."

Somerset, of course, would be within their rights to argue that Middlesex should have made such an appeal before the final match of the season so that both teams knew how many points would be required for survival.

Had they known that two more points were needed, for example, the home side's middle and lower order would have been likely to play more responsibly in their pursuit of batting points rather than attack in the way they did en route to scoring 236.

The twin controversies of the pitch and 'arrowgate' points deduction have take some of the shine off Somerset's remarkable escape, with matters - as with last year's demotion of Durham - now being decided off the pitch rather than on it.