Hoping to relax rules

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.