'Looking at the number of SCFL clubs who failed to raise a side on Saturday, they won’t be the last to fold either' - reaction to St Francis Rangers folding

John Goss has worked tirelessly at Sr Francis Rangers
John Goss has worked tirelessly at Sr Francis Rangers

The Sussex footballing community have taken to social media to react to the news that St Francis Rangers have folded.

The club announced the news in a statement this morning which said: "The players we have travel from a distance and get no expenses so training sessions never have more than 5-6 players there.

"You cannot play a good standard of football without training. Player commitment in general, is not what it was. They don't want to travel around the County to play and other commitments take priority over training and matches."

You can read the full St Francis Rangers statement here.

St Francis Rangers pulled out of their match on Saturday away at AFC Varndeanians, but they were not the only team to do that. Cowfold and Midhurst and Easebourne were also unable to raise a team.

Commenting on our Sport Sussex Facebook page, David Bauckham said: "My feature on Rangers from Feb 2016 when they were still “pointless”. A real shame and I have a lot of sympathy for John Goss and others who have desperately tried to keep the club going. Looking at the number of SCFL clubs who failed to raise a side on Saturday, they won’t be the last to fold either."

Dan Braddock added that this was happening elsewhere in the country. He said: "Plenty of clubs in Shropshire in this position too. The County League is down to just 1 division which is 11 teams. A few years ago it was 3 divisions of about 16/16/14."

Former player Ben Palmer said: "Sad to see my old club fold. Great times there,m" while Wick's Trevor Knell added: "Sad to see, but could be the first of many to go. Having struggled ourselves at Wick this season, we're lucky to be just about maintaining ourselves but its hard work."

On St Francis Rangers' tweet sharing the news, Haywards Heath Town replied: "Really sad news and our best wishes go to our neighbours. It’s incredibly hard at all levels of non league football to not only get but keep volunteers to enable community clubs to run."

Photographer Grahame Lehkyj said: "Sorry to hear this news. Spent many hours at the ground watching football and in various work parties. I will never forget the day we were promoted to Division 1."

Chichester City FC tweeted: "Very sorry to hear. Credit goes out to all those club volunteers who have held this club together for so many years," while Mile Oak FC tweeted: "Terrible news for the league, sign of things to come. Good luck to you all in the future."

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