TORBAY Sunday League officials will bow to the inevitable and pull the plug on the competition for the season ahead, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.
What they won't be doing though is winding up the league just yet as hopes are high it can be revived this time next year.
John Hockin, the league chairman, said with only three teams signed on for 2013-14, there was no point carrying on.
The clubs – Spartans, the Old Brewery and Sportsman's Arms – have been kept fully informed by Hockin of the problems and know what is coming.
"We have a committee meeting the week after next when the decision to suspend the league will be rubber stamped," said Hockin.
"The clubs were told some time ago it was not viable to carry on with three clubs and we needed more to come in.
"We were approached by Haywain and Indian Ocean about coming in – and with five clubs it would have been possible to create a season's football.
"Indian Ocean have been in touch to say they can't find enough players – and we haven't heard a word from Haywain for a while.
"Sadly, we have no alternative other than to suspend the league. Hopefully, there will be a revival in interest and next year we can come back."
Hockin said it was hard to know exactly why the league had run into difficulties, adding there was probably more than on reason.
"I wonder what effect the profusion of small-sided leagues has had on our sort of football," said Hockin.
"Everything is arranged, you pay a couple of quid for a game and there is nothing else to do.
"I am not entirely sure it is just a shortage of players either? I think there is a shortage of volunteers willing to do the work to keep a club running and get a side on the pitch.
"A couple of weeks ago I went to the South Devon League Charity Shield game at Newton Abbot and got talking to some of their officials.
"They were saying they had lost teams too, so it isn't a problem unique to Sunday football."