Rye United will remain in the Sussex County Football League during the coming season after winning an appeal against being moved to the Kent League.
The FA announced earlier in the summer that Rye and Crowborough Athletic would be moving across to the Kent League (or the South Counties East League as it has recently been renamed) in an effort to bolster low numbers across the county border.
Rye, Crowborough and the Sussex County League lodged an appeal to the FA against the decision, though, and that appeal was successful during a lengthy hearing at the Gatwick Hilton this afternoon (Wednesday).
“I’m quite relieved actually,” said Rye chairman Clive Taylor. “I was quietly confident before we went up there - I think I was the only one that was - because I thought we had a great case.
“We did a lot of groundwork going through the FA rules and basically we were in the right. Tim Griffiths (Rye’s new secretary) put together a very professional submission.”
Rye were concerned that a move to the South Counties East League would result in a number of players leaving the club. With many of the squad living in Hastings and even Eastbourne, a switch to Kent would have resulted in a lot of extra travelling.
Sussex County League Division One contained 22 teams last season, whereas the Kent top flight possessed just 17. Rye have achieved top four finishes in Sussex Division One for each of the last three seasons.