‘The wettest I’ve ever seen it’

This was the soggy scene at The Salts, home of Rye United Football Club, last weekend. Picture by Simon Newstead
This was the soggy scene at The Salts, home of Rye United Football Club, last weekend. Picture by Simon Newstead

Rye United chairman Clive Taylor says the football club’s ground is the wettest he’s ever seen it.

Surface water was laying almost all over the pitch at The Salts last weekend. The area between the western goal and the Rye United FC Clubhouse was completely under water and at one point it was partway up the step to the clubhouse. The situation had only improved slightly by yesterday (Thursday) morning.

Taylor said: “It’s definitely the worst I’ve ever seen it. I’ve never known such a long period of wet weather. It’s not looking good for the rest of the season and we’ve not even had winter yet.”

The postponement of last weekend’s scheduled visit from Worthing United and the Parafix Sussex Senior Challenge Cup third round tie away to Eastbourne Town on Wednesday night means that 10 of Rye’s last 13 scheduled matches have been called-off.

With the Eastbourne clash now having been postponed twice, it is due to be switched to The Salts, although a date has yet to be arranged. Rye have played only half of their 38 Sussex County Football League Division One matches and are still involved in two cup competitions.

There are just 12 Saturdays remaining until the scheduled end of the season in late April, although the league confirmed this week it would be seeking a week’s extension from the FA.

“It’s a job to see how we can complete all our fixtures,” Taylor continued. “In hindsight it’s easy to say perhaps we should’ve had more games early in the season, but it’s probably going to be the way forward.”

Rye have played just one home fixture since December 14 and Taylor says the weather is having a crippling effect on the club’s finances.

“It’s absolutely killing us,” he went on. “There’s no income at all. The place has still got to be heated, especially in the winter time, you’ve got the rent to pay and insurance has still got to be covered. You’ve still got all the bills and no income whatsoever.”

Rye are due to visit Chichester City tomorrow (Saturday) before hosting Ringmer on Tuesday night. “Obviously we will do everything we can to try and get it on,” added Taylor.