United are down but not out

There will be no more adult football at The Salts, home of Rye United, this season, although the football club hopes to field a team at a lower level next term. Picture by Simon Newstead
There will be no more adult football at The Salts, home of Rye United, this season, although the football club hopes to field a team at a lower level next term. Picture by Simon Newstead

Rye United chairman Clive Taylor is hopeful that the football club will have a future.

The Quarterboys withdrew from the Sussex County Football League with immediate effect following an extraordinary general meeting last Thursday night amid financial difficulties.

Rye now intend to sell off their assets - such as the seated stand and floodlights - to help pay off debt, but the club hasn’t folded and the hope is to field a team at a lower level next season.

Taylor said: “Hopefully football will carry on next year. I think there will probably be enough interest from people for them to do that. The (under) 18s and 16s want to carry on.

“We’ve got seven years left on the lease (at The Salts - which Rye hire off landowner Rother District Council) and I’m going to carry on paying that. Although I’m not going to be there next year, I’m not going to run away until it’s all sorted.”

Rye’s under-18 team has enjoyed a fantastic season having already won the Crowborough & District Junior Football League title with an unbeaten league record as things stand.

“The intention is they will carry on and become the first team if you like and the (under) 16s will step up to (under) 18s,” Taylor continued.

Rye under-18s manager Dean Jinks said he and his players are keen to continue their association with a club which was formed in 1938.

He said: “I was provisionally talking with Clive some months ago about moving my lads up to next year’s reserve team, but what happens next year I’ve absolutely no idea now.

“I’ll have to sit down with Clive and Pat (Taylor), and discuss whether there’s going to be a Rye team next year, and if so where they’re going to play.

“I’m in the dark as much as anybody else, but I’m hoping that the discussion will bear fruit and there will be some sort of football in Rye next year.

“It would be nice to carry on. The lads are very committed and were very up for being next year’s reserves. They’ve had a fantastic year this year and want that to continue.”

Taylor added that the club has already had several enquiries from clubs interested in purchasing Rye’s 100-seater stand which has only been in situ at The Salts for around two-and-a-half years.