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Cowley slams league expansion plan after fixture hell
CONCORD manager Danny Cowley says plans to extend next season’s Ryman Premier division are “ludicrous” given the current fixture pile-up.
Bad-weather-postponements mean that tonight the Beachboys play the first of four games in seven days when they host Bury Town.
Concord are far from the only team who have been left with an incredibly congested run-in, and Cowley said it’s a situation which should force the FA to reconsider their non-league restructure plans, which include a proposal for the Ryman Premier to be extended from 22 to 24 teams in the 2013/14 season. “I think those plans are now ludicrous,” said Cowley.
“The Premier League reduced their set-up from 22 to 20 teams with a 38-game season to improve the quality, and that’s at pro level with huge resources.
“What these changes will mean is that we will have a 46-game season, and, when you consider what has happened this season with so many postponements because of the weather, it beggars belief.
“With the problems non-league teams have had this year, I really think they should review those plans.”
Concord’s latest postponement came at the weekend when their eagerly anticipated trip to fellow high-fliers Wealdstone was rained off.
Tonight they host a Bury Town side three points outside the play-off places following an impressive 2-0 win at Kingstonian on Saturday.
Cowley said: “I went to watch Bury against Kingstonian, and they are a good side. “The only reason they are not in the play-off places as things stand is because they’ve had huge injury problems, so this will be another massive test for us.”
Elsewhere in the Ryman Premier tonight, Canvey Island will look to bounce back from a hugely disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Met Police on Saturday when they go to Cray Wanderers.
East Thurrock — who saw their weekend game at Hendon postponed — host Met Police. It could mean a return to Rookery Hill for former Rocks striker David Knight, who scored the winner in a lively display at Canvey. Billericay Town will continue their Conference South survival bid when they host Sutton United at New Lodge tonight. Town put in a gutsy display in a 2-1 defeat at home to leaders Welling on Saturday.
And in the Essex Senior League, Bowers & Pitsea will host Barking in a fixture which was moved from Saturday to tonight last week.