The Sussex County Football Association, also known as the Sussex County FA, was formed on the 23 September 1882 and is affiliated to The Football Association (The FA) as the governing body of football in the county of Sussex, England.
The Sussex Senior Challenge Cup was introduced by the Sussex County FA in the 1882/83 season, and was won for the first time by Brighton Rangers. The competition still runs today, and is the longest running football competition administered by the Sussex County FA.
For the next 100 years, like most other County Associations, the Sussex County FA was administered by what we would call today, volunteers. However, all that began to change, when the Sussex County FA purchased Lancing Football Club in July 1981, and relocated its operations to there, effectively making Culver Road, the Headquarters of the Sussex County FA.
Over the next few years, staff numbers steadily grew, with paid employees taking on more duties from volunteers and carrying out The FA strategy of the day, with FA grants being paid to the County Association for employing full-time members of staff for certain roles and duties.
The Sussex County FA became an incorporated company on the 2 November 1999 and became a Limited Company. At this time, a new Board of Directors was created, with a second tier of volunteers called ‘the Council’.
In August 2007, work to redevelop Culver Road into a modern stadium complex came when the old wooden stand was demolished and replaced with new dressing rooms, toilets, bar, servery and meeting rooms. This work was completed in June 2009, and new facility was officially opened on the 21 August 2009.
In December 2013, Mathew Major was elected as Chairman of the Sussex County FA, and he introduced more focus on finance, budgeting and business planning.
In June 2015, work to transform the grass pitch into a 3G Artificial Turf Pitch began. This work was completed 65 days later, on the 2 September 2015, and was officially opened a few weeks later by the then FA Chairman, Greg Dyke. The installation represented a major investment in facilities, and has already made a huge impact on income.
In late 2015, additional solar panels were installed on the roof of the main stand, generating further income and contributing to power generation. This power has been put to good use, with the installation in January 2016, of new ‘start of the art’ LED floodlights, which have saved considerable power usage.
In mid-2017, a new structure was proposed and adopted, which removed ‘the Council’ as a body and replaced it with ‘County Members’ and a series of Working Committees, designed to run football matters more effectively, leaving the Board of Directors to run finance, personnel and strategy. It is also hoped that the new structure will be more inclusive and help attract new members.
In the Spring of 2018, the Sussex County FA will be developing the East side of the ground and will install two new stands; a 50-seater covered stand, (bringing the capacity up to 380 seats) and a covered standing area, along with some concrete terracing.
The Stadium, 3G pitch and new floodlights, all contribute to the vital additional income to the Sussex County FA, and are appreciated by current users, which include Lancing FC (Southern Combination FL), Horsham FC (Bostik / Isthmian FL), Brighton & Hove Albion FC Women (FA Women’s Super League 2), and the Sussex Disability FL.
Today, the Sussex County FA is considered by many to be a forward-thinking, dynamic, reliable and modern County Football Association, with strong links to Brighton & Hove Albion, senior clubs, leagues and grassroots football, as well as local authorities, businesses, charities and other stakeholders.