New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

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New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  spongebob on Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:26 am

As most of you will know, the FA have been conducting a review of steps 5 & 6 in order to reduce the number of step 5 Leagues across the country from 14 to 12. Whilst this may have some credence, this is the league constitution which will affect our Clubs.

PROPOSED EASTERN LEAGUE

Blackstones
CRC
Deeping Rangers
Dereham Town
Diss Town
Ely City
Gorleston
Gt Yarmouth Town
Haverhill
Irchester Utd
Kings Lynn Town
Kirkley & Pakefield
Mildenhall
Newmarket Town
Norwich Utd
Peterborough NS
S&L Corby
St.Ives Town
Thrapston Town
Walsham le Willows
Wellingborough Town
Wisbech Town
Wroxham
Yaxley


PROPOSED LONDON NORTH EAST LEAGUE

Barking
Barkingside
Basildon Utd
Bethnal Green Utd
Bowers & Pitsea
Brantham Athletic
Burnham Ramblers
Clapton
Eton Manor
FC Clacton
Felixstowe & Walton Utd
Hadleigh Utd
Haringey Borough
Haringey & Waltham
Hullbridge Sports
London APSA
Sawbridgeworth Town
Southend Manor
Sporting Bengal Utd
Stansted
Stanway Rovers
Takeley
Witham Town
Wivenhoe Town
Woodbridge Town

Well, that's the end of the Ridgeon's League then. Woodbridge, Felixstowe, Wivenhoe, Hadleigh, Brantham, Stanway and FC Clacton all forced to play in grounds that are not much better than the local park in front of one man and his dog. Some great away games on Tuesday evenings to boot!

Well done whoever came up with this proposal. Stevie Wonder, I think.
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Wot about us?

Post  CentreForward on Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:17 pm

So where would that leave teams in the current first division?
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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  spongebob on Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:12 pm

CentreForward wrote:So where would that leave teams in the current first division?
The review of steps 5 & 6 is focussed at the moment on step 5. Step 6 will follow in due course. These proposals (in whatever form they finally take) are due to be implemented for the start of the 2013/2014 season, so there will still be time for some of those clubs named above to be relegated to step 6 and, of course, others from step 6 to be promoted onto these lists.

I'm sure that those 7 Ridgeon's League teams who are being dumped into the Essex Senior League are absolutely shocked by these proposals.
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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  welshwatcher on Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:36 pm

I hear there is a madhouse in North London where the lunatics have taken over the asylum!

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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  Nuts 10 on Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:07 am

Some of the clubs in the essex senior league have excellent grounds and facilities that would match any in the ridgeons but I agree there are also some bloody dumps. I personally agree that something needs to be done with the structure though because certain clubs are playing in completley the wrong feeder leagues.
I await the plans for step 6 with interest though becuase in Essex those grounds currently are just roped off park pitches.

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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  Belsize Park on Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:31 am

Guys,

here are my notes from the FA Step 5/6 Review meeting at Thurrock on Sunday. Hope this helps our ECL friends to make some judgements.

I may well be wrong but I think Walsham-le-Willows, CRC and Stanway were the only Ridgeons League Clubs represented on the day, and Nigel Spurling & Peter Hutchings were there to represent the ECL.

Firstly the FA were keen to advise this is not definite by any means - quotes include:

  • 'could be' - 'not would be' - 'not will be'

  • 'this is not a proposal - its a consultation to take into account the views of the Clubs'

  • 'not a done deal' - 'not agreed'


The Review Board have met with all 14 Step 5 Leagues who have indicated:

  • 8 in favour of reduction to 12 divisions

  • 4 not in favour saying it's ...'a sldge hammer to crack a nut'....

  • 2 non-comittal either way


interesting I understand the Leagues were told by the FA not to engage with their Member Clubs until after these regional meetings

Main outcomes from League Meetings:

  • 22 Clubs in each Step 5 division

  • No reserve teams at Step 5 or Step 6

  • Ground sharing not an issue

  • never been a problem in the past as Step 4 never relegated 12 clubs down to Step 5

  • 12 divisions will give a more clearly defined geographical spread

  • leave it at 14 divisions - but introduce playoffs if necessary between the Step 5 Champion sides

  • the Isthmian League should start to relegate more teams

  • why would 2 long established leagues be lost (denighed)

  • 23 Step 5 Clubs would be demoted for no reason

  • look for some Leagues to merge

  • fewer leagues will lead to increased travel costs

  • create more Step 5 leagues not less

  • take the opportunity to increase promotion opportunities


Initial Thoughts of the Review Group

  • continue to look at possibility of 12 Step 5 divisions
geographically based
  • 22 clubs per division

  • all clubs must meet ground grading grade F by 31/3/13

  • FA will carry out grading with the Leagues

  • clubs who fail Grade F will not be included

  • 1st year 13/14 possibly up to 287 clubs in the Step 5 structure

  • will balance out through promotion/relegation process

  • look at ways of guaranteed relegation from Step 4


How it might look - see documentation

  • 12 geographical groups

  • League names removed

  • 23 to 25 clubs per league

  • does not take into account promotion/relegation over next 2 seasons


Next Steps

  • Met with Step 5 Leagues last week

  • met with Clubs - Sunday

  • feedback from all meetings to Leagues by March'12

  • Ground grading to get underway 2012


lot's of questions and comments from the floor - I will write these up later when I have time. Lots of upset Clubs and Leagues

there are also issues for the northern half of the Ridgeons League 'Family' where say Gorleston, Great Yarmouth and Kirkley could all be travelling West/East to Peterborough, Corby, Wellingborough in the current United Counties League

We will have a Club meeting in the next few days to decide our response. We will then be looking to meet with the other 6 ECL clubs who are affected by the potential move into a London North East division with a view to a joint written response to the FA

There's a long way to go with this - but we do need to work together otherwise we will be picked off one by one

I suppose promotion/relegation next season are also an option Laughing
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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  GMac on Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:48 am

Thanks for a very informative update. This is currently being discussed on forums all over the place with mixed reactions. I think that it will have a long-term, negative impact upon clubs and leagues at this level.
Why are league names to be removed? At the moment each league is an entity in it's own right with a constitution, rules committee etc. These proposals seem designed to remove the last vestige of independence and replace a league such as ECL with an eastern branch of FA Pyramid Inc.
It appears that the UCL is heading for the chop and its clubs distributed where the FA see fit. I don't suppose clubs such as Market Deeping and Blackstones are exactly thrilled with having to slog the highway from hell (aka A47) to get to the east coast clubs either.
This will set a precedent that will allow the FA to shuffle the pack every time they see fit with wholesale enforced moves from one 'region' to another. I am surprised any of the current step 5 leagues are in favour....they clearly can't see where this is leading!

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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  welshwatcher on Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:36 pm

Although I shouldn't be, I am just incredulous of how someone being paid (probably good money) can sit in an office in North West London and move the largest port in the UK and third largest in Europe from the East Coast of England to the greater London area.

The Eastern Counties League is a hugely successful organisation (never mind our minor disputes on how it is run) and because of it success, struggles for numbers due to the diminishing number of clubs, entirely due to members moving UP with no-one coming in the other direction.

Question: Do I want to watch the team I follow travel to East London to play London APSA in front of five spectators, leaving at 10/11 in the morning on a Saturday or 3pm in the week and retuirning home at some ungodly hour of the night or late Saturday evening. Sorry but that is NOT why I got involved where I have been for the last 40 years.

What is there to discuss?

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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  bergh1 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:17 am

i hope the whole league stickss together and tell them to go and get stuffed, but somehow i have my doubts, as looking at some of the clubs it is to their advantage, so time will tell on this one.

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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  stephen on Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:01 am

Hi, this will be to the advantage of which Clubs? I cant think of one!

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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  bergh1 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:50 am

only time will tell on that one, and i am not going to pre empt what clubs might do or say, but i have my doubts, i really do hope they all stick together and not allow the cronies to split this league up, spare a thought for the clubs that are being shoved off to the essex senior league, and when it finally comes to the crunch, lets see which clubs are still standing, to fight for this league, again i have my doubts.

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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  HUFC Supporter on Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:24 am

Although i dont watch that many away fixtures, as a Supporter of HUFC i would be against these changes, but at the end of the day who is going to take any notice of what the paying public think!!! Sad
Yes it will be interesting to see which Clubs stand up for the League.
How many players are going to want to travel on a Midweek & Saturday down to the A12 & beyond?
It can only help The Suffolk & Ipswich League get stronger, as i can see alot of these players who currently play in The Ridgeons League dropping down (or will it be a drop?) to the SIL!!!


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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  Spenny on Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:47 am

The main point made by Mike Appleby is that Step 5 leagues are regional and therefore some travelling is to be expected. He gave an example of a team who have applied for Step 4 whose accounts showed they had spent around £3,500 on travelling costs during one financial year compared to £66,000 on players wages.

At present Wisbech travel further than any other team in the Ridgeons League - something in the order of 2400 miles there and back over the course of the season. According to the mileage chart handed out on Sunday, we would be looking at a reduction of around 400 miles on that. Having been a Southern League side, we can't exactly complain about distance. We used to be in the same League as Weston-Super-Mare (416 mile round trip), Dorchester (442 miles) and both Newport (Wales) (404 miles) and Newport (Isle Of Wight) (378 miles but included a ferry crossing). Those distances were covered in a Division just one step higher than the Ridgeons Premier.

I can understand why some clubs are concerned by these changes, but the idea behind this re-organisation is to make sure that nobody misses out on promotion, not to reduce/increase travel for clubs. That is a by-product, albeit an unwanted one.

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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  Backfour on Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:54 am

As someone who is not involved with a club but totally interested in this PROPOSAL and the affects it may well have, can i ask the following questions.. (1) Did the member clubs receive information ( i hope so) on these possible changes at Step 5 and also where the regional meetings would take place (2) How many Eastern Counties League clubs attended the meeting at Aveley last week-end?......Reading through the proposed changes to the existing leagues, that have been posted on here, i can only see the SIL league, Essex & Suffolk Border league and (from my neck of the woods) the Anglian Combination league benefitting from these rediculous proposals affraid
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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  athleticman on Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:14 am

What plans do you think they'll have for Division 1??

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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  GMac on Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:23 am

Has anyone got details of how these new 'regional' leagues will be administered? Aren't the various leagues currently incorporated as companies? Will these be wound up? Who will control promotion from step 6?

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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  crackers on Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:08 pm

intersting text is that all clubs at level 5 will have to have ground grading "F" . That would sort out a few of the current ESL clubs!!!!!!!

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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  Greenmanwalking on Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:26 am

athleticman wrote:What plans do you think they'll have for Division 1??

I doubt if they have thought that far ahead.
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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  Backfour on Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:19 am

Reading through the two page article on the Step 5 proposals in this weeks issue of the NLP it's interesting to read the views of the representatives of the various Leagues that will be affected. It's obvious that these proposals will be beneficial to some and not to others around the country. From an Eastern Counties League point of view, certain Clubs in the north of the region will no doubt be warming to the change whereas Clubs in the south will have very strong reasons against as will the Clubs in the East.
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New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  4-4-2 on Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:36 pm

well i think it sucks player's wont travel to london mid-week to get home at 2 in the morning. Also what happern's to the youth league ??? have the rule's changed as a under 18 player is not allowed to travel more than 1 hour to and from total of 2 hours travel on any givern school night rules brought in by the F.A hence pro clubs having local academies for boy's to train i.e potter's bar etc but they could travel at weekends . Also is the ridgeon's league going to pay compo to club's in this league as they have met their own ground requirements now will be playing on rubbish grounds standard F , Any park pitch with changing room's meets this standard, no food just roped off pitcher's what a joke for once let the clubs make a stand . One more thing what about the fan's i dont think they will travel into london etc to watch so gate's fall club's go bust I THINK THE REAL REASON FOR THIS IS A SHORTAGE IN OFFICIAL'S HOW MANY WILL THIS FREE UP ??????

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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  spongebob on Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:33 am

4-4-2 wrote:Also is the ridgeon's league going to pay compo to club's in this league as they have met their own ground requirements now will be playing on rubbish grounds standard F , Any park pitch with changing room's meets this standard, no food just roped off pitcher's what a joke for once let the clubs make a stand .
4-4-2, I'm not quite sure where you got your information about ground grading, but here is the official FA version of the standards that Clubs must have to meet Grade F http://www.thefa.com/Leagues/NationalLeagueSystem/~/media/Files/PDF/Leagues/Ground%20grading/2011/Grade%20F%20July%202011.ashx/Grade%20F%20July%202011.pdf
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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  saddlemaker on Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:06 am

There is also the issue of the the impact on matchday 'playing' budgets.

For example next season (and from then on) the current Ridgeons League Premier will be 20 teams (38 matches)

Let's assume that a club (any club) has a modest playing budget of £25 per player per game.
Current cost £300 per game x 38 = £11,400

The proposed new Eastern division has 24 teams
That's 46 matches = £13,800

The proposed London NE division has 25 teams
a whopping 48 matches per season @ £14,400

An increase in playing budget necessary of at the very least of £2.4K - 3K per season.

Also, when will these extra 8 or 10 matches per season be played?
The only possible answer is of course, midweek

We all love football but who could possibly be in favour of a 48 match league season?
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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  welshwatcher on Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:50 am

Plus of course 10 of them will be inside the M25, Mile End twice, Haringey twice, it beggers belief that someone has been paid to come up with this!

As I have mentioned before The lunatics have taken over the Asylum!

I hear UCL have rejected the idea outright and are having an emergency meeting this week!

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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  Belsize Park on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:11 am

just to advise, the 7 Ridgeons Premier League Clubs potentially effected by the FA proposals to move into a new London North Eastern League from season 2013/14 are meeting at Stanway Rovers FC on Friday evening. This is a meeting of the Clubs to explore a joint response to the FA.

Officers from the Ridgeons League have kindly agreed to attend to offer advice on the process and clarity on the FA proposals to the Clubs.

I would expect the Clubs to make an announcement shortly after, and to seek views and input from supporters, players and sponsors etc
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Re: New proposed Leagues/ The demise of the Eastern Counties League

Post  sammy on Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:24 am

I note from the Hadleigh United website the " Acting Chairman " has issued a club statement, but having read this looks as if they are sitting on the fence to see what the outcome is, i note not many other clubs nor the Ridgeons League ( Eastern Counties ) have not made statements on where they stand , although 2013/14 season is a long way off if the League & Clubs do not make a stance against the proposals ( if thats is how they feel ) then the F.A will push the matter through
I note from Welshwatcher's comments the UCL have rejected the proposals already, perhaps more will come from the meeting at Stanway on Friday

Whilst this matter seems hinged on the Ridgeons Premier League no mention has yet been made about Division One, Reserve, & Youth Leagues

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