Hoping to relax rules

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THE Ridgeons League is going to ask the Football Association to “relax” their rules on promotion to allow the league’s First Division to remain viable.

This was decided at a meeting of all member clubs that was called after doubts were raised over the future of a division that is down to 17 clubs.

It was also agreed to consider at this summer’s league annual meeting a proposal to reduce the Premier Division from 22 to 20 clubs, which would lead to more numbers in the lower flight.

League secretary Nigel Spurling said: “There is no guarantee this ‘relaxation’ of the rules will happen, but I am hopeful.”

Four teams have applied to join the Ridgeons League next season, but have still to meet the requirements – Lakenheath and Chatteris from the Kershaw League, Brightlingsea from the Border League plus one other that wants to stay anonymous.

If the FA give the go-ahead this would solve the problem with the league suffering from clubs moving up to the Ryman League in recent years without being able to recruit newcomers from Step 7.