Fixture pile-up could be ‘serious issue’

L06103H1  Littlehampton FC which has cancelled Saturday's fixture due to a waterlogged pitch
L06103H1 Littlehampton FC which has cancelled Saturday's fixture due to a waterlogged pitch

THE West Sussex Football League have warned they could be in serious trouble with their fixtures schedule if February’s weather is as bad as expected.

There has been little or no action in some of the league’s divisions since early December and fixtures are starting to stack up.

Despite being under no constraints by The FA to finish their season by the final day in April, the fact a lot of clubs at that level ground share with cricket teams, means they are restricted in this way.

Fixtures secretary Chris Bridges said: “We haven’t had a full schedule since before Christmas. Up to that point it was all going well. If the next one or two weeks are still wet, then we are in serious trouble.”

Last year, the league had to abandon all of their cup fixtures owing to the amount of lost Saturdays and things are likely to go the same way this campaign unless things drastically improve.

Bridges added: “The weather needs to improve by the end of the month or the cups are probably in jeopardy again.”

Currently things are not quite as serious in the Worthing League, although again they are well aware of possible problems.

Cups, again, could be an issue as well as the lower division fixtures as they have a large number of teams in.

Secretary Laurie Claydon said: “We have lost a number of cup games in the past couple of weeks and they are hard to catch up on.

“The Premier Division is quite small, so it’s not really a problem, but the other divisions could be an issue.

“It’s not at a critical stage yet, but the forecast does not give encouragement. We have overcome worse as things stand at the moment, as in 2011, we lost the equivalent of 11 Saturdays.”

Just two games went ahead in the whole Sussex County League programme over the games scheduled on Saturday and Tuesday.