West Sussex Football League are ‘up to 10 or 12 referees short every week’

The West Sussex Football League are looking for more referees and club linesmen
The West Sussex Football League are looking for more referees and club linesmen
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The West Sussex Football League are looking to attract new referees as they are suffering from a shortage of match officials this season.

A total of 114 teams make up the 11 divisions of the league which was formed back in 1896.

Upwards of 50 fixtures take place each week but league secretary Chris Bridges has reported they are struggling to appoint referees to every match on a Saturday.

He is appealing for more potential officials to get in contact about getting involved and fill the void left a lack of new referees coming through.

Bridges said: “This season we are finding ourselves anything up to 10 or 12 referees short every week. This particularly affects teams at the lower reaches of the league. Divisions 3,4 and 5.

“Across the county there are new referees being trained but these seem to be those concentrating on youth football.

“What we could do with is encouraging new mature referees in their 30s and 40s. Ex-players for example, who still want to be involved.”

Currently league and FA rules state that a game cannot be postponed because there is no appointed referee.

It is up to the clubs to find a volunteer, often at very short notice, as late as Saturday morning if a referee pulls out at the last minute.

Match fees for referees in the West Sussex League range from £26 to £44 depending on location and distance travelled.

Clubs in the top three divisions are also struggling to provide the required assistant referee to run the line for their matches.

They must be someone who is not a player or substitute. Clubs are prepared to pay expenses of up to around £20 and the league is prepared to help with the training.

For more information about either or to get involved, contact Chris Bridges on 07771857750 or email christopher.bridges@btinternet.com

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