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Rule change is ‘jealousy’, chairman says

Gym United player-chairman Matt Morton has blasted new Sunday League rules as being ‘driven by jealousy’.

The Thetford Town defender has hit out at a recent change to the player eligibility rules in the Premier Logos Bury & District Sunday League, which will restrict a side to having a maximum of four ‘senior’ players in their matchday squads.

Senior players are determined as those that play in Saturday teams at Step 5 and above. The rule had previously been six, but has now been lowered by two.

And, with a high percentage of Gym’s players plying their trade at a ‘decent standard’ on Saturday afternoons, Morton has said the club are being ‘punished for being successful’.

The team, who have always stated they are a group of friends enjoying playing together, progressed to the final of the National Sunday FA Cup last season.

But Morton said the rule changes would have an impact on their future in the competition, leaving them hamstrung on a national level.

He said: “It’s one hundred per cent driven by jealousy and it’s very disappointing. It’s cowardice from teams unable to beat us on merit, so they want to handicap us.

“It just goes against everything I believe, in both the spirit of sport and competition.

“They should want to find an edge and beat us on the field, not by cutting our legs out from under us and bringing us down to their level.

“That’s just punishing us for being successful. It’s a hollow victory.”

He said he understood there was a disparity in the quality of Sunday League and agreed, in principle, with the idea of an East Anglia Sunday Super League, but wondered who would have the time and funds to run it.

“I don’t have an answer for what this means for Gym right now,” he added.

“We definitely can’t commit to another season in the Sunday League without a lot of discussion and consideration.

“The Ipswich League is a possibility, as is an appeal to Suffolk FA and the National FA, as it seems unfair to impose this here when no other region has this rule.”

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