The future of a long-standing football league, which has spanned more than 50 years, is at ‘crisis point’, after a dramatic reduction of teams.
And the Morpeth Sunday League is making an appeal for new sides to join the competition, before it is too late.
During the last five years, the league – formed in 1962 – has shrunk drastically, going from 46 teams across four divisions to the prospect of having just 11 sides in one division next season.
There are currently teams from areas such as Bedlington, Ashington, Morpeth and Amble, but the league would consider sides from further afield, within reason.
President Syd Johnson said: “We are at a stage where trying to secure the future of the league is at crisis point.
“There are several reasons causing the decrease in numbers, including the high cost of playing facilities, the disappearance of sponsorship deals from local clubs, as well as pubs – which are also in numerical decline – and the culture change in young people, who can choose from many more areas of sport and leisure nowadays.”
To attract new sides, fees have been slashed for the upcoming season and any new club would pay £25 entrance fee, plus a £50 bond which would be returnable provided the club completes one season or more.
Clubs will need a pitch and must take out player insurance through the league.
The league wants to enrol clubs before the AGM on June 9. Call Syd on 01670 531224.