Jason Hopkinson claims that Hastings United couldn’t afford to pay Sam Adams what he’s been offered by Rye United.
The forward, who can also play in midfield, has signed Ryman League forms for the U’s, but the club has conceded that he is on his way to The Salts.
The 24-year-old took part in Rye’s first pre-season training session on Tuesday night, but hadn’t put pen to paper with the Sussex County League outfit at the time of going to press.
Hastings manager Hopkinson said: “He’s signed for us, but he’s decided that he’s going to go to Rye. They’ve offered him more money than what we were paying him last year and what we can afford to pay him this year.
Adams previously played for Rye during the 2004/05 season when they finished second in Division One of the Sussex County League - which is two levels below Ryman League Premier Division club Hastings.
He joined Hastings in the summer of 2005 and went on to clock up 272 appearances, scoring 77 goals. Adams was an instrumental figure in United’s 2006/07 promotion campaign and was their leading scorer the following season.
Rye boss Scott Price said: “He’s verbally agreed to sign and if that’s the case, it’s a fantastic signing. But again, until the paperwork’s signed, I don’t like to say too much.
“I’ve probably got the best two players in the town in Sam and Duncan (McArthur). He’s not come financially because he’s not getting any better deal than he was at Hastings.
“He wants a new challenge and he doesn’t want to be struggling every year, he wants to compete for something. He spoke to Hastings and their ambition doesn’t match his.”
The full article will appear in tomorrow’s Hastings and Rye Observers.