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Chi’s promotion sealed – but lease issues remain

Chichester City will have no less than 12 Sussex derbies to look forward to next season after their position in the Bostik South East Division was confirmed.


Miles Rutherford’s side sealed promotion to step four for the first time in the club’s history after winning the SCFL Premier title.


Bostik League bosses have now confirmed the league allocation for next season – and Chi have been pitched in the south east division which involves sides largely from across Sussex and Kent.


Among the more tastier ties to come include matches against Burgess Hill and Brighton-based Whitehawk, both of whom have been relegated from Bostik Premier.


Chi will also lock horns again with Haywards Heath Town, who beat them to the county league title two seasons ago.


Other Sussex derbies to look forward to include matches against East Grinstead, Three Bridges and Hastings United.


Perhaps the most intriguing match for players, officials and fans though will be an away match to the Channel Islands to play Guernsey.


One of the longest trips will be to Ramsgate, with City facing a 260 mile trip to the Kent coast.


Chi will also face fellow step four newcomers Cray Valley Paper Mill, who were defeated in the final of FA Vase last weekend.


The club still have a wait though to find out who will own the lease to their Oaklands Park ground for the foreseeable future.


Chichester District Council is currently reviewing arrangements after the short-term agreement with City expired.


The council is seeking assurances the club is now operating on a financially secure footing.


Those who sit on the board believe City are well on track – with the success on the pitch proof the club is heading in the right direction.


Central to the improvement has been the formation of a management committee made up equally of members of the men’s, women’s and youth sections.


A decision is expected to be taken in the coming days.


The club has made clear that retaining the lease is vital to it’s vision of creating a thriving community club for men’s, women’s and youth football.


Part of the tender also contains a commitment to move towards a 3G surface which would give more opportunities to its 300 junior players. The committee also vow Oaklands is crucial to its sustainable business model.

Posted in Sport.