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Officials quit Mitre Prostar East Kent Youth Football League after controversy over Canterbury City's rejection

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by Andrew Gidley

Nine members of the Mitre Prostar East Kent Youth League committee are stepping down, with some citing the fall-out from Canterbury City’s rejection last year as the reason.

Chairman Les Barleycorn, secretary Denise Young and fixtures secretary Phil Gurr are among those who will not be seeking re-election at the annual meeting in June.

They will be joined by minutes and events officer Lorraine Gurr, league welfare officer Dave Harrington, registration secretaries David Young and Anthony Gurr, plus committee members Gary and Mandy Dodd.

Mr Barleycorn said his decision was for personal reasons but others admit they are calling it a day in the aftermath of City’s threat, which was subsequently withdrawn, to take legal action after their application to join the league was rejected by clubs.

City lost out by a majority of eight votes, with six abstentions, amid accusations of them "poaching" players and coaches, which they denied.

League secretary Denise Young said she did not want to be put under that pressure again.

She said: "The letters and phone calls and everything else that ensued wasn’t pleasant. I am not a lawyer or barrister. We are all volunteers and it was a lot to take on.

"Clubs have been informed about the situation and people were quite shocked and surprised about it but when I explained the reasons, they completely understood."

The outgoing officers are confident about the future of the league, which has around 350 teams and 5,500 players – boys and girls – across South and East Kent.

Do you think the league will be adversely affected by the departure of the nine officials? Have your say below.

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