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Whitstable Town chairman Gary Johnson believes it unlikely the Ryman League Division 1 South season will be extended to ease the fixtures backlog

13 February 2014
by Steve Tervet

Whitstable Town chairman Gary Johnson

Whitstable Town chairman Gary Johnson

Whitstable chairman Gary Johnson has admitted the club’s plea to extend the Ryman League season is unlikely to be granted.

The Oystermen are only halfway through their league fixtures and they’ve still got a Kent Senior Cup semi-final against Ebbsfleet United to play as well.

That means Nicky Southall’s side have to squeeze at least 24 games into 10 weeks from Saturday.

Mr Johnson, who is also a Ryman League director, put Whitstable’s case to the league and the FA but he doesn’t expect them to budge.

He said: “I understand, that despite our situation and a handful of others within the Ryman League competitions, it is unlikely at this stage for an extension to be granted for Steps 1-4 given contractual issues of players and clubs, together with pre-planned play-off dates and, of course, promotion, relegation and league ratification matters for season 2014/15 for which the FA have certain other deadlines.

“If the season were to be extended, all player contracts would require further payment.
In short, clubs between our level and the Conference National, who don’t have such a fixture backlog, could be seen to be paying players unnecessarily.

“I cannot see those clubs wanting an extension any more than I can see players waiving the right to more money.”

Southall’s side are due to host Leatherhead on Saturday and Mr Johnson said: “While you can never say never, currently I do not believe we will be successful in forcing the issue."


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