Denholme Clough and Old Crossleyans cricket clubs are in danger of folding, it was revealed last night.
Anthony Briggs, chairman of the Spenser Wilson Halifax League, broke the news to club representatives at the October meeting.
He said: “It is my sad duty to inform you that two clubs have contacted the executive in the last seven days to inform the league that there may be the possibility that they will not be able to play in the Halifax Cricket League in 2017.
“Denholme Clough have been informed by their landlord that they must vacate the land on which the club is located unless they can pay a new monthly rent of hundreds of pounds, which the club will not be able to pay. Discussions on this are currently underway.
“Old Crossleyans struggled to raise two full teams on a Saturday this season on many occasions and the club are currently discussing options on how to proceed but have warned the league that they are currently discussing the future of the cricket club.”
Briggs said both clubs had promised to keep the league informed of developments. He described the news as “most alarming” and said it underlined some of the big challenges facing cricket and sport in general.
Ex-Bradford Central League club Denholme Clough were Division Two first team champions in the latest season.
Old Crossleyans, part of a sporting set-up at Broomfield which also includes rugby union and squash, finished fifth in the middle section but their seconds were relegated to Division Two.
It is believed there has been friction surrounding the Broomfield club’s third team, runners-up in the top section of the Sunday League this summer.
Doubts over the future of the clubs has added to the uncertainty over the make-up of the league for 2017.
Old Town and Greetland must apply for re-election, Illingworth are joining from the Aire/Wharfe League and four clubs from the disbanding Huddersfield Central League wish to become members.
Mount, Birchencliffe, Leymoor and Bradley & Colnebridge all made presentations to the meeting last night to back their applications.
Bradley and Colnebridge have only one senior team and the Halifax League’s executive would be prepared to let them “share” a fixture list with Greetland, who dropped their second team early in the 2016 season. Greetland would play the first X1 fixtures and Bradley & Colnebridge the corresponding second team fixtures.
Halifax League clubs will vote by email over the next four weeks on the re-election applicants and the four possible new arrivals.
The results will be announced at the AGM at Pellon Club on Tuesday, November 15 but the league structure for 2017 will not be decided until the spring, after workshops involving the clubs.
League chiefs are urging clubs to vote in the four ex-Central League clubs or run the risk of the YCB asking the league to accommodate them as part of the Yorkshire pyramid system anyway.
The quartet’s grounds are all within 10 miles of Halifax Town Hall and Briggs said the clubs had passed the Halifax League’s ground assessment and application procedures.