Sudbury to appeal against FA decision

PUBLISHED: 11:06 05 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:15 04 March 2010

AFC SUDBURY will appeal against the FA's controversial decision to keep them in the British Gas Southern League.

Last season the club had to spend an extra £7,000 in travelling expenses alone, compared to the season before in the Ryman League, while the longer distances required in the midlands-based division have also been an obstacle for manager Nicky Smith in recruiting and hanging on to players.

AFC SUDBURY will appeal against the FA's controversial decision to keep them in the British Gas Southern League.

Last season the club had to spend an extra £7,000 in travelling expenses alone, compared to the season before in the Ryman League, while the longer distances required in the midlands-based division have also been an obstacle for manager Nicky Smith in recruiting and hanging on to players.

The Suffolk club's chairman Keith Morris said: “I am very disappointed by the FA's decision for the obvious reasons.

“I learned over the weekend that Nicky Smith has lost five players (because of the decision) and it is going to be tough for him and Chris Tracey to sign players.

“The travelling comes into it in terms of players, especially for midweek games and taking time off work. Times are tight and employers are not as flexible.

“It is an additional cost of £7,000 purely for travelling alone and that does not include the money lost with us taking less away and the same in the other direction, especially for midweek games for teams coming from Midlands, with less bar and food takings.”

The Sudbury chairman added they had not been given any reason for the rejection of their request. AFC have until June 11 to lodge their appeal, which will be heard by an independent panel at a date yet to be announced.

An FA spokesman said they will carry out a full boundary review during the coming season.

AFC manager Nicky Smith had been working with two lists of players he would like to sign, one for the Ryman League and one for the Southern League.

Smith said: “We have been planning for staying in the Southern League, just in case this happened, so we will now put these plans into action and try and get these players in asap. I am looking to bring in four or five new players and hope to have three or four of them in within the next week.”

The first of those signings has already been confirmed, with the arrival of striker Craig Hughes from Thurrock. The former Colchester United player was wanted by a number of Blue Square South clubs but has chosen Sudbury after an enjoyable loan spell at the club last season.

Meanwhile, AFC skipper Gareth Heath agreed to stay at King's Marsh for next season, meaning nine of the players who were with Sudbury last season have now signed up for the 2009/10 campaign.

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