The 26-year-old – the Lilywhites’ top scorer for the past three seasons – has requested a transfer out of the league as he feels he gets a raw deal from referees.
Hunt has already been sent off twice this season and has been booked six times – but with 71 goals for Rhyl since he joined in the 2003-4 season, his manager John Hulse insisted: “No-one wants him to leave.”
And former Manchester United ace Clayton Blackmore, along with Caernarfon Town manager Steve O’Shaughnessy, have said Welsh Premier referees were too happy to dish out the cards.
Neath Athletic manager Blackmore, who played with Hunt at Bangor, said: “I know Lee very well. I’ve played with Lee Hunt and I think he’s got away with a lot of things in the past. If you challenge hard all the time referees are going to keep an eye on you and they’re going to target you.
“But the problem with referees in this league is the same problem with referees worldwide – they haven’t played the game.
“They’re booking people for stupid things like dissent – for a split second players can lose it. Things happen too quickly in football these days.
“There should be a bit of leniency.”
Caernarfon Town have picked up eight red cards this season – more than any other Welsh Premier club – and with 39 bookings so far are second only to Welshpool Town at the bottom of the fair play league.
Suspensions have hit the Canaries hard, but manager O’Shaughnessy insists his side are not a dirty team and have suffered because of poor refereeing decisions.
“You’ll never see a game now where’s there’s not one or two bookings at least,” said O’Shaughnessy. “When we played Llangefni in the League Cup there were six players sent off and there were no bad challenges. It looks like a violent game but it was far from it really.
“We’ve got one of the worst disciplinary records in the league, but speak to any assessor who’s watched us – we’re not a dirty team. There are too many bookings – people are getting booked for anything and it’s getting to the stage where it’s a non-contact sport.”
And it’s not just disciplinary decisions for which the man in the middle is being slammed. Caernarfon’s league game against Llangefni at The Oval was abandoned at half time on Wednesday after kick off was put back 15 minutes when visiting manager Alex Kevan and a couple of players were delayed by an accident on the A55 – leading Canaries chairman George Denham to call for more consistency from referees.
Denham said: “We were without four players at kick off in Rhyl last Saturday when they had transport problems and had to start the match with 10 men because the official wouldn't delay the start.
“We were told that we would be reported to the FAW for not fielding a full team at the designated kick-off time, but we were ready to take the field at the allocated time on Wednesday.”