Norwich Sunday league clubs vote to keep five rolling subs rule at feisty AGM

Members met for the Norwich and District Sunday League AGM Members met for the Norwich and District Sunday League AGM

David Powles
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
9:07 PM

Clubs in the Norwich and District Sunday League will continue to be allowed to name and use five rolling substitutes per game after members voted against league and Norfolk FA recommendations to reduce the number to three.

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In an at times feisty league AGM tonight club representatives voted overwhelmingly against proposals to reduce the number of rolling substitutes, after the meeting heard it had enabled them to give players more game time - and make them more likely to stay at the club.

The proposals had been drawn up by the county FA in an attempt to make it easier for clubs to fulfil fixtures, and after an in-depth survey of teams at the end of last season.

The decision means the league has effectively gone against plans to standardise club rules across Norfolk - and it will therefore have to pay higher fees.

The meeting also heard how the number of adult leagues will be reduced for the second season in a row, from eight to seven. Some 18 teams pulled out of the league either during last season or since its conclusion, with just eight new teams lined up for 2014/15.

However, a trial to introduce an under 19 league has been hailed a massive success after the number of teams increased from 10 in 2013/14 to 28 signed up for next season.

Ben Casey, league secretary, said: “Hopefully this should keep younger players playing a lot longer, rather than walking away from football.”

Mr Casey did, however, express his concerns that some clubs were calling games off, when they could be doing more to get them played.

Also at the meeting, Norfolk FA chief executive Shaun Turner unveiled a series of new measures drawn-up in response to the survey. These include;

- an effort to standardise the rules in the adult game in Norfolk.

- attempts to improve the finances of clubs, including offering them the chance to secure advertising money through an online business directory and free scratch cards for in-club competitions.

- a discounted physio programme which offers up to 16 treatments for just £25.

Mr Turner also revealed that the FA has teamed up with a betting company called Betbright. In return for a £25 deposit per player, clubs will receive £40 back. This is not available to clubs above step 4 and clubs must have a bank account.

Mr Turner said: “We recognise that a lot of clubs struggle financially and we are just trying to help.”

The 2014/14 league season will begin on Sunday, September 7.

3 comments

  • Players used to play Saturdays and Sundays and it looks like many have dropped the latter and possibly play Powerleague type of matches during the week so that explains some of the fall in numbers but finances are tough. Councils are short of cash so charge for facilities (no subsidies that other sports get), companies have little to spare for sponsorship leaving players to pick up a hefty tab. I did the survey and when asked what would get me back into the game I said knocking 20 years off my age!

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    JohnnyH

    Monday, June 16, 2014

  • Yes, indeed. The decline of "Grass-roots" football is a worry, DomS. It is, perhaps, more a reflection on society as a whole than just about footy. Youngsters are becoming a breed of watchers rather than doers. Computer games, mobile phone obsession, worshipping the big-money "heroes" with replica shirts and all the other paraphernalia. I asked the Chairman of our local club how the finances worked. Player subs, a begging bowl passed around the spectators (!), not a lot else. I suggested sponsorships, eg of the match-day ball. I`m not sure what is permitted. Scratch cards sounds a tawdry idea. Makes you itch just thinking about it.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

  • attempts to improve the finances of clubs, including offering them the chance to secure advertising money through an online business directory and free scratch cards for in-club competitions. - a discounted physio programme which offers up to 16 treatments for just £25. Mr Turner also revealed that the FA has teamed up with a betting company called Betbright. In return for a £25 deposit per player, clubs will receive £40 back. This is not available to clubs above step 4 and clubs must have a bank account. Mr Turner said: “We recognise that a lot of clubs struggle financially and we are just trying to help.” How is it possible to provide financial help for clubs through 'securing' advertising money through any directory? How would scratch cards to be used within clubs help their finances? The physio idea is positive, however the betting offer seems irresponsible and reprehensible given the very real 'grass roots' problems that clubs face. The vast majority of teams only need help with the very basics that are required in order to play. Money for kits, pitch fees, referees, transport etc. That's without mentioning monies for fines, fines which can be incurred by receiving a yellow card - against which clubs cannot appeal. The Norfolk FA's response to the information gathered from the widespread survey that has been undertaken appears to be indicative of just how out of touch they have been for decades now. As a Scouser who moved to Norfolk in 1984 I have witnessed the rapid and shocking decline in the numbers of teams and general participation of the Norfolk leagues. A similar pattern has emerged nationwide, however, Norfolk FA's numbers of people participating in adult football are clearly the UK's worst. From my outsiders position I have come to observe that the Norfolk FA, and indeed the city towns and borough leagues have refused to listen to their members for many years and now is the harvest from their period of sewing seeds. Norwich Sunday league teams will have to pay more money as a result of voting overwhelmingly against the 3 subs rule. Not a fitting thanks for their unity and democracy.

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    dom shillito

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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