Rye withdraw from league

Rye United have withdrawn from the Sussex County Football League with effect from today
Rye United have withdrawn from the Sussex County Football League with effect from today

Rye United have withdrawn from the Sussex County Football League.

At an extraordinary general meeting of the club last night (Thursday), members voted 16-2 with a number of abstensions to withdraw from the league with effect from today and release all players immediately.

The scheduled trip to Selsey in Division One tomorrow therefore won’t go ahead, neither will any of Rye’s other fixtures between now and the end of the season in early May. The club’s under-18 team, which has won the Crowborough & District Junior League, does intend to complete its two remaining matches, though.

Rye chairman Clive Taylor began the meeting - which took place in the Rye United FC Clubhouse at The Salts - by explaining the financial difficulties facing the club and that he was no longer prepared to continue in a role he has held for nine years.

The predicament was debated for some time, but a solution couldn’t be found and the aforementioned vote marked the end of an era for football in the town. Taylor was given a warm round of applause for his considerable contribution to the club.

Rye United was formed in 1938 and after winning the East Sussex League in 1950, became founder members of Sussex County Football League Division Two in 1952. Rye switched to the Kent League in 1983 before returning to Sussex in 2000.

The club has won Division Two and finished runners-up in Division One on four occasions, as well as winning the Division Two Challenge Cup and Sussex RUR Charity Cup twice each, and the John O’Hara League Challenge Cup once. Rye reached the FA Vase quarter-finals in 2010/11.

Rye become the second club from the locality to withdraw from the Sussex County League in the space of eight months after Sidley United pulled out last summer having been left without a ground. Greg Nessling, Andy Hales and Gregg Berry played for Sidley last season and Rye this term.