Final whistle set to blow on league

Ore Athletic and Bo-Peep were two of the top Hastings & East Sussex Sunday Football League teams in recent years
Ore Athletic and Bo-Peep were two of the top Hastings & East Sussex Sunday Football League teams in recent years
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It’s looking highly likely that there will be no Hastings & East Sussex Sunday Football League next season.

League secretary Alan Green admitted it’s 99 per cent certain that the league won’t be run in 2012/13 due to a lack of teams.

He said: “We need eight as a minimum, but we only had three clubs affiliate by the May 31 deadline and one that looks like they want to come into the league.”

The senior officers on the league management committee were expected to hold an emergency meeting this week and Green has written to Sussex County FA deputy chairman Phil Chaplin seeking advice.

A final decision is likely to be made at the league’s annual general meeting on June 24. One option is to suspend the competition rather than disband it which would mean not having to reaffiliate with the Sussex FA if it was restarted in the future.

The league has been running since the mid-1960s and at its peak boasted five divisions with up to 12 teams in each. But numbers have gradually dwindled over the years, particularly in the last decade or so, and the competition had to be suspended for a brief period in 2010/11 before being restarted.

Last season just eight teams competed in a single division despite a range of incentives being offered including half price pitch fees and free affiliation. See tomorrow’s Observer for the full article.