Perhaps to no great surprise, Carlisle City today lost their appeal to the FA against being laterally moved from the North West Counties League to the Ebac Northern League.
It can’t have helped their case that, though they themselves are in the north-west, their annual mileage will be less in the Northern League. Now Mr Hewitt can get the fixtures out.
I’ve some sympathy for City, nonetheless. Why shouldn’t a club, within reason, play in a league which best suits them rather than one which suits the jerry builders and where, mainfestly, they don’t want to be? None of this is going to end well.
*Refereeing matters: word is that Shane Sugden, among the most high profile – and most talkative – refs who serve the ENL first division is retiring through injury.
He’s a greatly popular lad who’ll be missed not least at Bishop Auckland, where he lives and is usually available for on-the-spot ground inspections.
The observant may also have noticed that the excellent Rebecca Welch, another who came through the Northern League, was fourth official on that televised Football Aid match on Sunday evening.
Surprisingly, however, neither Rebecca nor any other of the female referees who’ve so impressed in recent years is included in the latest list of promotions to the Football League – the national group, as the refereeing world knows it.
Marc Edwards and Will Finnie, familiar hereabouts, do make the national group. Daniel Woodward becomes a national group assistant ref and Northallerton lad Barry Sygmuta – the dear old Ballerina in the Black – becomes a Football League observer. Well done to them all.