Ridgeons ask FA to allow Ang Com clubs to rise

The Ridgeons League is to ask the Football Association for permission for clubs from lower down the pyramid, like the Anglian Combination, to be promoted if they meet the ground criteria but fail to finish in automatic promotion places.

The decision was taken last week at a special meeting of the league, writes Viv Thomas.

The meeting was told that that four applications had been received for promotion to the Ridgeons League – from Lakenheath, Chatteris, Brightlingsea and one unnamed club.

And five others, including North Walsham, Cromer and Sheringham, are not far away from meeting ground criteria.

This move by the Ridgeons League has proved a talking point, particularly in north Norfolk.

Cromer secretary Richard Cox said the current Anglian Combination Premier Division leaders would not be applying for promotion to the Ridgeons League because of uncertainty over their future at the current site. In our current position, it wouldn't allow us to go up.

'Our situation at the moment is we don't know our long-term future – whether we will P,stay there or move to somewhere else.

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'It would be a waste of money to do something with our current facilities if we don't stay there.'

But he stressed the club wasn't ruling out applying for promotion at some point.

'It's possibly something we could look at in the future if we have a new site or develop the current site.'

Sheringham chairman Kristian Gleave said: 'My personal view is, yes, we don't hide the fact we want to go into Ridgeons football – but ideally through winnning the league or coming second.

'Having said that, if the opportunity did come where we might be able to progress, the club and committee would have to talk about it.

'The club would want to make sure as well as having a team that could cope with Ridgeons football that we had the necessary infrastructure to make it less of an issue on the pitch.

'We would have to make sure we were in a position to apply for Ridgeons football.'

Mick Alexander, North Walsham committee member, said the council was proposing to build housing on Greens Road so the future of their ground was unsure. 'We are virtually up to Ridgeons One standard but are in limbo,' he said.

'If they got more Anglian Combination teams into Ridgeons One and then regionalise it then we would be very interested.

'The idea of travelling into Essex on a Tuesday night doesn't really seem viable, especially when you have got the same standard just up the road.'

He added that Walsham had contacted their own league on a similar issue this week.

'We have put in a proposal to the Anglian Combination that they regionalise their reserve team sections into East, Central and West Norfolk,' he said.