Chichester City are planning again for life in division one of the Sussex League after an appeal victory which could throw the league into chaos.
City’s appeal victory against the league’s decision to relegate them to division two despite upping the number of teams in the division from 20 to 22 comes AFTER the first few weeks’ fixtures had been published.
With Chichester now back in division one, the league must decide whether to snatch promotion away from a club like Littlehampton - who had been told in writing they could go up because of the new numbers in the top flight - or allow 23 clubs in division one and one fewer in division two.
Fixtures will also have to be worked and a league EGM has been called for Monday night.
Chichester officials went to Wembley for the FA hearing and were jubilant over the outcome.
A City spokesman said: “The FA agreed SCFL had reached a decision that any reasonable body could not reach and that they had failed to comply with the rules and regulations relevant to that decision. The FA stated that the club should be returned to division one immediately.
“Chichester City are delighted with the FA’s decision. It has been a tough couple of years for the club but, with lease negotiations between ourselves and Chichester District Council nearly completed, this decision really signals the start of what we hope will be a bright new future.
“There is still much to be done, but this result is a huge boost to the club as a whole.”
For reaction to the appeal win - and news of what it means for the rest of the league - see the Observer next week.