Gall concern over backlog

Action from Rye United's game away to Horsham YMCA last weekend. Picture by Steve Cobb
Action from Rye United's game away to Horsham YMCA last weekend. Picture by Steve Cobb

Rye United’s manager has questioned whether some football clubs will be able to fulfil all their fixtures during a frantic end to the season.

The Quarterboys are among the worst affected with 17 league games and at least one cup tie to cram in before the scheduled finish to the campaign on Saturday April 26.

Rye boss Marc Gall said: “It’s a horrendous situation and I question whether the league will get all the fixtures played, and whether teams will be able to field squads for all the games. It’s a lose-lose situation for clubs, players and the league.

“I had trouble getting a squad for Saturday’s game (away to Horsham YMCA). It seems like people are losing interest; the weather’s totally killed the season.”

The Sussex County Football League is still seeking an extension to the season from the FA to help ease the pile-up, but the governing body for the sport in this country has so far failed to grant the request.

“I don’t think anyone wants an extension to the season, but I don’t think anyone wants to be playing every night of the week either,” continued Gall. “It’s a lose-lose situation.”

Rye have had a raft of games postponed over the last two-and-a-half months due to the exceptionally wet weather, the latest of which was the scheduled trip to East Grinstead Town on Tuesday night.

With the weather finally showing signs of improving, they have three home matches scheduled for the coming week. Hassocks will visit The Salts tomorrow (Saturday) before Newhaven and Hailsham Town will provide the opposition on Tuesday and Thursday night respectively.

Gall believes the answer to the seemingly annual late season fixture backlog is to play more games early on in the campaign before the winter weather sets in.

“Everyone says the same thing; let’s play more games at the beginning of the season,” he continued. “For the last four years Rye have had the same problem and it’s about time someone did something about it moving forward. For the first six weeks you should get 12 league games played or 18 in the first 10 weeks.”