Maidstone League – New Teams Wanted!
The committee of the Maidstone & District Football League are scrapping entry fees in a bid to attract new clubs and save it from extinction.
The league founded is 1893, is in danger of folding at the end of the season unless more teams join.
It has operated with one division of eight teams this season but that cannot continue without the injection of more teams.
The committee members have come up with the idea of free entry to all clubs next season - new and existing - in the hope it will give the 125-year-old league a new lease of life.
Mick Brookes, the referees and fixtures secretary, says it could save clubs as much as £300.
He said: "We're the oldest league in the country and if we're not careful we're going to see the demise of the league by the end of the season.
"I'm trying to raise the profile to get new clubs in so we can bolster the league and make it a bit more competitive.
"So what we're offering is all new clubs and existing clubs, for next season there will be no charges for coming into the league.
"That means no entrance fees and no cup fees - we will absorb the running costs as a league."
"I know part of the problem is the money, not all of it, but it is 75% of it and by doing this it may encourage people to start thinking maybe they should try it and get a team together.
"It's about £150 to join the league and then there’s a separate fee for our two cups, so you're looking at perhaps £250, maybe £300 savings.
"That's quite a good start and I understand as well that new clubs can apply for a grant from the Kent FA so that's another avenue they can go down.
"I don't want the oldest league in the country to fall apart."
Mick Brookes is appealing for clubs to come forward and save the league. In an ideal world the league wants to double its numbers, which would also give the competition more credibility.
Teams interested in joining the Maidstone & District Football League should email Mick Brookes on firstname.lastname@example.org.