The ill-feeling between Rye United and Hastings United seems to have reached a new level.
Rye have made an official complaint about Hastings to the Sussex County Football Association over an alleged illegal approach for Liam Upton.
Scott Price, Rye’s manager, said: “This really has cheesed me off this time. I think it’s very poor for a club like that, it’s as if there’s no respect for us.”
FA rules dictate that during the season, any club wishing to approach an uncontracted player known to be registered with or having played for another club must give the secretary of each such club seven days’ formal written notice of the intention to approach the player.
Rye claimed that Hastings broke that rule last season by contacting Scott Ramsay and Upton, who at the time was dual-registered between the two clubs but spent all bar the first few weeks of the campaign at Rye, and filed a report to the Sussex County FA. This time they’ve paid £35 to make an official complaint.
“This time we want to take it a bit further,” continued Price. “We did everything right with Wes (Tate, who Rye signed from Hastings at the back end of last week). We put a seven-day letter in and didn’t speak to him until it was all clear.
“But a day later they ring Liam up (without issuing a seven-day approach) and keep ringing him every day. I think it says a lot when a player like Liam (who was at Brighton & Hove Albion as a youngster) doesn’t want to leave Rye to go to Hastings.
“We’ve got all the best local players and we’re doing things the right way. I honestly think they just try and bully their way round, but it doesn’t work like that.”