Extremely disappointed Kent County League confirm the withdrawal of Chipstead

Monday 23rd October 2023

The Kent County League have confirmed that Chipstead have withdrawn from the competition on Saturday.

“It is with great disappointment that we have received notification of the withdrawal of Chipstead FC from the Premier Division,” said a League statement.

“The League management committee are extremely disappointed with how this issue has come about.  Over the last two weeks this has taken a significant amount of officer tome, which in truth was a club internal matter.

“Internal matters within clubs should not be played out in the public arena.

“We are also as a League management committee disappointed that a club playing within the National League System is actually able to act in this manner and that Chipstead FC after many years within the competition felt that could just walk away from their obligations to the League and other member clubs within their division.

“We fear this has set a dangerous precedence and the League will now make contact with The Football Association and Kent FA to discuss how this could be prevented in the future.

“Throughout this matter, we have had contact with Kent FA and Southern Counties East Football league and would like to place on record our thanks and their support during this time.”

Southern Counties East Football League First Division side Sporting Club Thamesmead suffered a 3-0 home defeat to their league rivals Lewisham Borough in the Challenge Cup on Monday 2 October.

Manager Danny Harris admitted during the post-match interview that his job was on the line as the club were rooted to the foot of the table and without a win in 10 games.

The club’s next match was away to Wimbledon Casuals in the London Senior Cup, however, Sporting Club Thamesmead withdrew from the competition as they couldn’t raise a team, as Harris parted company with the club before the trip to Walton-upon-Thames.

Sporting Club Thamesmead did not announce the departure of the former Lordswood under 23 manager, nor did they announce that co-chairman Lee Hill (who has previously managed the club) was to take charge of their 5-0 home defeat to Premier Division side Bearsted in the Kent Senior Trophy.

Speculation has been doing the rounds that Sporting Club Thamesmead were to appoint Chipstead manager Fred Dillon, who would bring his squad to Bayliss Avenue. However, that is against FA regulations.

Chipstead – founded in 1936 and members of the Kent County League since the 1989-90 season – have now withdrawn from the eleventh-tier of English football, while tenth-tier Sporting Club Thamesmead remain silent on the matter.