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 Post subject: Northern League Restructure Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:13 am 
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Interesting email from the League to clubs this morning about an application to the FA over how they could look at the structure of football in the North East of England.

What's peoples thoughts?

Code:
Dear Colleagues,

As you’re all aware we met with representatives of the Football Association on 11th December 2017 to give them the opportunity to explain the FA’s restructuring plans for non-league football, details of which were circulated in the minutes of LMC the following week.

The most significant changes to affect this league being there would be mandatory promotion from our first division into Step 4 and a reduction to 20 teams in both of our divisions, meaning that several clubs would be leaving the league.

Promotion and relegation from the Ebac Northern League will clearly have a major impact both on those clubs directly affected and also the overall standard of the league.

Clubs promoted to the current Step 4 league face a significant increase in both travelling times and other running costs, while those that are relegated may well suffer a fall in attendances and also not be able to access revenue streams currently available through the FA and our generous sponsor Ebac.

Automatic promotion out of the league will also become a permanent arrangement, rather than a one-off for the coming season, the consequence of which is while we will lose our strongest teams there is little likelihood, because of our geographical location, of receiving any teams relegated from Step 4.

Although we can perhaps appreciate the overall reasoning behind the FA’s decision to go to 20 teams for each of the divisions, which would significantly reduce the number of midweek fixtures.

Popular misconception, built up over a number of years, has suggested that this League has actively discouraged clubs from taking promotion but this is certainly not the case and many with the appropriate facilities and financial backing have applied, been accepted and continued to be promoted up the pyramid.

However, what is very clear to all members of the LMC is the inherent failure to address excessive travel and increased costs in both the current or proposed structures and that means promotion to Step 4 remains both unaffordable and undesirable for many clubs and has inevitably caused some to even question the very relevance of the NLS for this region.

Both the FA and ourselves, agreed at the meeting that there was a need to restructure football in the North of England, which would hopefully resolve some of the very real issues which affect this League.

The current proposals clearly don’t offer that resolution and it is difficult to envisage any future ones that, based on current and past thinking, would offer such a solution.

It’s much more likely that they will exacerbate current difficulties with an inevitable drift southwards at Step 5 in coming seasons.

However, the LMC believe there is a way that helps the FA develop football in the region at Steps 4, 5 and 6 while at the same time protecting and defending the quality of the Ebac Northern League and minimising the potential impact of promotion and relegation for our clubs.

It is abundantly clear that any Step 4-6 structure for the North of England is one which doesn’t result in excessive travel for its clubs. All parties should seek a resolution which ensures the NLS is relevant to the needs of the
region and that the Ebac Northern League is fully integrated with both promotion and relegation within the system.

That is why we, in accordance with Rule 3.3 of the regulations governing the National League System, have formally applied to the Football Association for the Ebac Northern League to adjust its position within the system to include a Step 4 division covering this region.

The proposed adjustment would see the addition of a Premier Division at Step 4, which would then feed into the Evostik Northern Premier League Premier Division (at Step 3).

While the rest of the proposal would see two further divisions, each of twenty clubs at Steps 5 & 6 to ensure that there was an effective structure put in place for football in the North of England.

These changes would of necessity move current boundaries southwards, the effect of which would therefore be to bring a number of existing Step 4 clubs within the new regional boundaries.

Unfortunately, we were left with only a limited window of opportunity for making such an application, as FA rules stipulate that any league requesting such a change must apply by 31st December but clearly we were not in a position to put forward such a proposal until we had been presented with the FA’s plans in detail.

So, while it was our intention to inform clubs immediately of that decision, the FA requested that it be withheld until they had been given time to consider the proposal, which is due to be presented to the Leagues Committee for their consideration later today, 17th January 2018.

We understand that this is a major decision for the league but we also believe it is the best way forward both for non-league football at Steps 4-6 in the North of England as well as for the long-term benefit of our league and its clubs.

Once we have the benefit of a reply from the FA an Emergency General Meeting will be called in order to discuss their response but should you wish to raise any concerns in the meantime then please contact either myself or Glenn Youngman, Ebac Northern League Chairman.

Yours faithfully
Kevin Hewitt
Ebac Northern League Secretary

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 Post subject: Re: Northern League Restructure Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:21 am 
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Personally, I think this is a really interesting, positive proposal by the league for non-league football in the region.

- it looks to me as though what's being suggested is that the Northern League has three divisions - one at Step 4, one at Step 5 and one at Step 6. It also looks as though the Step 4/5 divisions would be made up of Northern League and Northern Counties East teams, with some clubs from the NL feeder leagues coming in at Step 6. I presume some clubs that are already at Step 4 might have to be moved across into the new Step 4 division – if it goes ahead?

- it deals the problem over the travel and costs which the FA's current plans would impose on our teams being automatically promoted to the current Step 4 league. It will be interesting to see the clubs reaction to this proposal.

- some clubs may be disappointed that they will have to compete in the FA Trophy rather than the Vase, but not many clubs actually make money out of the Vase (unless you get to the latter stages) and our clubs remaining at Step 5 would still be competitive in the Vase. Over a period of time the top clubs will end up in the Trophy because they’ll eventually aĺl be compulsorily promoted anyway. In the 1970’s, 80’s and early 90’s the Northern League used to be in the Trophy anyway.

Hope the FA consider this carefully rather than just reject it out of hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Northern League Restructure Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:30 am 
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However, what is very clear to all members of the LMC is the inherent failure to address excessive travel and increased costs in both the current or proposed structures and that means promotion to Step 4 remains both unaffordable and undesirable for many clubs and has inevitably caused some to even question the very relevance of the NLS for this region.

Have the LMC actually audited this. Is there a direct comparison being produced with these additional costs, whilst also considering increased income streams ?

I will make this really simply. Increased travel costs can be funded by reducing overly excessive players expenses/wages for the level of football the league currently sits

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 Post subject: Re: Northern League Restructure Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:37 am 
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Wack wrote:
[i]Have the LMC actually audited this. Is there a direct comparison being produced with these additional costs, whilst also considering increased income streams ?

I will make this really simply. Increased travel costs can be funded by reducing overly excessive players expenses/wages for the level of football the league currently sits


Change the record man Wack. I'm personally fed up with your negativity on anything to do with this. It's not within the league's powers to audit finances or limit the spending power of clubs. It is within the League's gift to participate in an adult discussion about how we move foward, rather than making childish comments saying "He's got more sweets than me, and that's not fair!"

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 Post subject: Re: Northern League Restructure Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:50 am 
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Interesting read.. certainly seems like the league are considering the best interests of all current northern league clubs. Intrigued to see what the outcome will be.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern League Restructure Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:54 am 
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madworld wrote:
Wack wrote:
[i]Have the LMC actually audited this. Is there a direct comparison being produced with these additional costs, whilst also considering increased income streams ?

I will make this really simply. Increased travel costs can be funded by reducing overly excessive players expenses/wages for the level of football the league currently sits


Change the record man Wack. I'm personally fed up with your negativity on anything to do with this. It's not within the league's powers to audit finances or limit the spending power of clubs. It is within the League's gift to participate in an adult discussion about how we move foward, rather than making childish comments saying "He's got more sweets than me, and that's not fair!"



My negativity is against Clubs who state they cannot afford to take promotion , not against any change of the structure of football in the North. The email states "promotion to step 4 remains both unaffordable and undesirable" , if you think me challenging that is "childish" then so be it .

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 Post subject: Re: Northern League Restructure Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:57 am 
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Wack wrote:
madworld wrote:
Wack wrote:
[i]Have the LMC actually audited this. Is there a direct comparison being produced with these additional costs, whilst also considering increased income streams ?

I will make this really simply. Increased travel costs can be funded by reducing overly excessive players expenses/wages for the level of football the league currently sits


Change the record man Wack. I'm personally fed up with your negativity on anything to do with this. It's not within the league's powers to audit finances or limit the spending power of clubs. It is within the League's gift to participate in an adult discussion about how we move foward, rather than making childish comments saying "He's got more sweets than me, and that's not fair!"



My negativity is against Clubs who state they cannot afford to take promotion , not against any change of the structure of football in the North. The email states "promotion to step 4 remains both unaffordable and undesirable" , if you think me challenging that is "childish" then so be it .



Far from childish in my opinion. I disagree with the statement that it is "both unaffordable and undesirable" completely. I think it's simply "undesirable" and while the option to not go up remains, the majority of the clubs won't do it. It would be useful, as Wack says, to see a direct comparison. If there is shown to be a clear sign that most clubs can't afford it I'll happily chomp on a big piece of humble pie and ask for seconds.

I'm a huge fan of clubs playing at the highest level they can rather than choosing to stay where they are. If promotion is likely to cause financial hardship I would want to know why? It's not a childish question, it's just so often brought up on here we sound like a stuck record. It's also something that will never be agreed on as opinions are so divided.

We have a great league here, if only there had been more movement over the years it could be even better!

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 Post subject: Re: Northern League Restructure Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:21 am 
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No relegated step 4 teams into northeen league is a problem.. Heres the solution.. Place one of the relegated teams into n.l. Irrespective of where they are but maybe the closest team. Let them travel over here every other week like they expect us to do. There would be an outrage


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 Post subject: Re: Northern League Restructure Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:39 am 
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It would be interesting to know a bit more. How far southward are the league thinking, which clubs at step 4 would be involved. How would this affect the North eastern Counties teams, would the creation of another step 6 league go against current thinking, how would this affect the Wearside, n alliance and N riding leagues. Lots of questions but maybe after today when the FA say a categorical NO they will not require answers. Cynical? of the FA absolutely as they have never lifted a bat in the past to help us, big surprise to me if they start now. However I hope I am wrong because something needs doing to stop the stagnation of this league.

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 Post subject: Re: Northern League Restructure Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:14 am 
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A step 4 league to include Yorkshire and a step 5 and 6 league to include north Yorkshire . now that would work lets hope the F A use common sense and agree to it. we live in hope.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern League Restructure Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:29 am 
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i like the current set up as it is, i dont want to have to take promotion and be travelling further for away games, the northern league should stay a local league IMO


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 Post subject: Re: Northern League Restructure Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:45 am 
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Cestrian wrote:
of the FA absolutely as they have never lifted a bat in the past to help us, big surprise to me if they start now.


What about the mass-promotion offer on the back of the Step 4 expansion a decade or so back? That would have made a huge difference and we'd not be where we are today if 8 or 9 NE clubs had filled that division. Any attempt to take clubs was batted back amidst claims of 'cherry picking' and 'financial suicide'.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern League Restructure Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:09 pm 
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Surely a mass promotion will put pressure on clubs who haven't spent money on the ground, what happens if say 10 clubs don't meet the ground grading for Step 4 in season 1 or do people think the NL clubs should get more time to get grounds ready as well.

If I was NCEL or NWCL I would just think the NE teams have created a problem and then want preferential treatment to sort it out. Most the other leagues promote every year with clubs who then have to get the ground ready for that level, some then get relegated back because they don't have the best of teams.

I would be surprised if the FA do anything other than advise that promotion is mandatory and over time the issue will become less of an issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern League Restructure Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:10 pm 
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bertbanger wrote:
i like the current set up as it is, i dont want to have to take promotion and be travelling further for away games, the northern league should stay a local league IMO


Out of interest, and I think I'm right in thinking you're a Northallerton Town fan (apologies if wrong), but would the travel be that much more for you potentially?

Northallerton to Alnwick for example is about 95 miles, and Northallerton to say Sheffield (in South Yorkshire) is 85 miles (both approx) which is potentially lower than any proposed boundary, meaning most travels would potentially be considerably less than that?

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 Post subject: Re: Northern League Restructure Proposal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:17 pm 
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Alnwick is our longest journey of the season, i would be a bit miffed if trips to Sheffield and surrounding areas at an average of 85 a pop is more common, i guess im a "back home for tea" kind of guy lol


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