Non League Matters - The Continuation of Tonys english Football Site 



  Main Index MAIN
INDEX
Search Posts SEARCH
POSTS
Who's Online WHO'S
ONLINE
Log in LOG
IN

Home: Non-League Football Discussion: Restructuring Discussion:
NWCFL & step 7 applications

 



robgrillo
First Team Star

Dec 12, 2008, 9:01 PM

Posts: 1791
Location:
Team(s):

Post #1 of 7 (4541 views)
Shortcut
NWCFL & step 7 applications Can't Post or Reply Privately

Thought this may be of interest:

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN - STEP 7 LEAGUES MEETING
On Wednesday 26th November, members of the League Management Committee met with representatives from our Step 7 feeder leagues. Representatives from the Manchester League, Cheshire League, West Cheshire League, Liverpool County Combination and the West Lancashire League were all in attendance. The purpose of the meeting was to have an open and honest discussion concerning the current situation regarding promotion from the Step 7 Leagues.
Background to the meeting

The National League System is aimed at setting up regular promotion and relegation of Clubs between leagues within the non-league pyramid. However, as many people will be aware, the current system has not regularly produced Clubs for promotion to Step 6 in our area, our Division One.
The League Management Committee recognises that some of the Step 7 Leagues are more advanced in ground standards than others. This creates a position where a considerable number of Clubs in those Leagues currently have difficulty in meeting, or are unable to meet, the FA Step 6 minimum ground standards.
It has been widely documented that the Northern Premier League is pushing for 22 clubs in its North and South Divisions. In working towards this, many clubs have been promoted from our league in recent years, and we have not been able to maintain our full complement of 44 clubs in our league by promoting clubs from our feeder leagues.
Our Division One presently has four vacancies and only two champion clubs have been promoted to us in the past five years – Wigan Robin Park from the Manchester League in 2008 and Kirkham & Wesham from the West Lancashire League in 2007.
In an attempt to encourage clubs from our Step 7 feeder leagues to apply for membership, our League Secretary John Deal wrote directly to all clubs in those leagues last season, inviting them to contact us for guidance and assistance in meeting required standards for promotion. We were perfectly entitled to do this, and this approach did not breach any FA guidelines.
However, we accept that writing direct to clubs did not go down well at committee level within each league and we have since apologised to them for that. Given that the approach of writing to individual clubs last year upset the leagues, the meeting was convened to build bridges and work together to resolve the issue of getting promotion and relegation between us and the feeder leagues working as it should.
The main points to emerge from the meeting are summarised below.

Applications for next season

The West Lancashire League confirmed that Barnoldswick Town are likely to leave them next season to join the NWCFL. Their floodlights are now in place and they have been in regular dialogue with NWCFL Ground Grading Chairman Geoff Wilkinson to progress their application.
Charnock Richard may be ready to apply in about two years time but they have issues with getting planning permission for floodlights at the moment. Blackpool Wren Rovers have facilities that are around the standard required, but have indicated they are not interested in moving up at this stage.
From the NWCFL’s perspective, Barnoldswick Town’s application is the only one that will be made as we understand at the moment. West Didsbury & Chorlton and South Sefton Borough have made enquiries about ground grading requirements, but both clubs are at the early stages of planning ground improvements and are not planning to apply at this stage.

Issues for Step 7 clubs

A number of the feeder league representatives raised issues which they believed had an impact on clubs at Step 7 level, with regard to moving up to Step 6. These were:
Step 7 leagues feel unsupported, especially as far as ground grading is concerned, as a promised “Guide to ground grading standards at Step 7” has not been produced and issued as previously promised by the FA
A major problem is the lack of agreed standards for ground grading at Step 7 – different rules apply in different Step 7 leagues around the country
The Football Foundation will not fund floodlights at Step 7, they will only do that when the club is at Step 6. As a League we have tried to be proactive with the FA, and tried to get advance funding when we know a club is likely to be promoted, but this has not been successful.
The NWCFL has always been wary of suggesting that money is thrown at clubs to upgrade their ground to enable them to Step up from Step 7 to Step 6. This view was backed by a number of the Step 7 representatives present at the meeting. The general feeling was that this approach won’t necessarily solve the problem, as many clubs at Step 7 don’t have the personnel to run a club in the NWCFL. There is no ambition and drive among many Step 7 clubs to spend money upgrading facilities to the required standard.
In summary, it was agreed that there are three main barriers to a club moving up from Step 7 to Step 6 - ground grading standards, the money needed to meet ground grading standards and a shortage of personnel to run a club at Step 6.

The way ahead

It was agreed that expecting the NWCFL to lower its standards, to shoe horn clubs in who might fold in 12 months time, was not a realistic option. However, the point was also made that, despite the fact the NWCFL has been consistently ”robbed” of clubs at one end doesn’t mean the same should automatically happen at the other end.
It was stated that the NWCFL has to be realistic – and expectations of getting up to four clubs from Step 7 in one season isn’t realistic. That might be achievable in a few years time but not straight away.
Therefore, it was suggested that the NWCFL needs to adopt two courses of action. First, we need to accept that getting our complement of clubs up to 44 isn’t realistic now, and we need to tell the FA that it is too hard to get clubs ready for promotion under the current set up. When you look across all our supply leagues, there are simply not many candidates available for promotion.
If we aim at getting up to 42 within the next two seasons that might be achievable, but we at the NWCFL need to be talking to the FA about getting changes through to facilitate our requirements – for example, ask the FA to extend the moratorium on them taking more of our clubs next season. If looking for 4 now is hard, looking for 6 in 18 months time is going to be even harder.
It was agreed that a meeting of the NWCFL and feeder leagues should be held about twice a year, the aims of a meeting being to identify possible clubs for promotion, encourage sharing of ideas, and offer help to feeder leagues and clubs in those leagues to achieve the requirements for promotion to Step 6.
This will enable feeder leagues to understand what is going on higher up the pyramid, and they can then plan and work with the NWCFL accordingly. All the Step 7 representatives present agreed that feeder leagues will not stop clubs fulfilling an ambition to play at a higher level, in fact churning of clubs in a league can be healthy and freshen things up. They want their clubs to progress and to have the desire to progress, and they want to work with the NWCFL and not against us.

Closing comments

Since the meeting was held, the League has received a request for an application form from Runcorn Town, and it is hoped that this will progress to the stage where the club makes an official application to join our League.
The League Management Committee believes that the meeting with the feeder leagues was useful and we look forward to further meetings, both with the representatives who attended, and also with representatives from those leagues who were unable to join us on the night.

Dave Tomlinson, Chairman, The Vodkat League




LATE TO THE GAME - The origins of soccer in Bradford. Available from www.bantamspast.net



colpic
Chelsea Transfer Target


Dec 12, 2008, 9:40 PM

Posts: 3364
Location: North West Lincolnshire
Team(s): Scotter United (Scunthorpe League), AFC Telford(home town club),

Post #2 of 7 (4525 views)
Shortcut
Re: [robgrillo] NWCFL & step 7 applications [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

It's good to talk............



Where's the 'ignore this poster' button?


kreader
Youth Team Sub

Dec 14, 2008, 7:49 PM

Posts: 169
Location: Lancashire
Team(s): Charnock Richard , Derby County

Post #3 of 7 (4379 views)
Shortcut
Re: [colpic] NWCFL & step 7 applications [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

True Charnock Richard do not have permission for floodlights but the main issue is getting grants to get the rest of the ground up to the FA Grading to meet the requirements of the NWCL. £20,000 is the maximum grant at Step 7 which must be matched by a similar sum from the club. Charnock Richard require at least £150,000 to meet the ground requirements including the floodlights so, in the present financial climate, it is going to be a good while before any application can be made for admission to the NWCL unless a fairy godmother turns up in the next few years.
Ironically once in the NWCL it is possible to obtain grants up to £100,000.
Meanwhile the standard of football in the Premier Division of the West Lancashire League continues to improve and this year the competition for the title looks like going down to the final games as it did last season. Ground facilities of all of the clubs are of a good standard and generally Charnock Richard are enjoying playing in this league.
Of course if/when the opportunity arises to play at a higher level we will consider our options.


Locki
Junior Team Regular


Dec 16, 2008, 2:34 PM

Posts: 55
Location: Chorley
Team(s): Chorley

Post #4 of 7 (4222 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kreader] NWCFL & step 7 applications [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
True Charnock Richard do not have permission for floodlights but the main issue is getting grants to get the rest of the ground up to the FA Grading to meet the requirements of the NWCL. £20,000 is the maximum grant at Step 7 which must be matched by a similar sum from the club. Charnock Richard require at least £150,000 to meet the ground requirements including the floodlights so, in the present financial climate, it is going to be a good while before any application can be made for admission to the NWCL unless a fairy godmother turns up in the next few years.
Ironically once in the NWCL it is possible to obtain grants up to £100,000.
Meanwhile the standard of football in the Premier Division of the West Lancashire League continues to improve and this year the competition for the title looks like going down to the final games as it did last season. Ground facilities of all of the clubs are of a good standard and generally Charnock Richard are enjoying playing in this league.
Of course if/when the opportunity arises to play at a higher level we will consider our options.



How about Charnock Richard ground sharing with Chorley until Charter Lane is ready?????



Come on the Magpies - UniBond Division One North Champions 2010/11? Wait and see.....!


Seagull
First Team Star

Dec 16, 2008, 3:49 PM

Posts: 1857
Location:
Team(s):

Post #5 of 7 (4203 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kreader] NWCFL & step 7 applications [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
True Charnock Richard do not have permission for floodlights but the main issue is getting grants to get the rest of the ground up to the FA Grading to meet the requirements of the NWCL. £20,000 is the maximum grant at Step 7 which must be matched by a similar sum from the club. Charnock Richard require at least £150,000 to meet the ground requirements including the floodlights so, in the present financial climate, it is going to be a good while before any application can be made for admission to the NWCL unless a fairy godmother turns up in the next few years.
Ironically once in the NWCL it is possible to obtain grants up to £100,000.
Meanwhile the standard of football in the Premier Division of the West Lancashire League continues to improve and this year the competition for the title looks like going down to the final games as it did last season. Ground facilities of all of the clubs are of a good standard and generally Charnock Richard are enjoying playing in this league.
Of course if/when the opportunity arises to play at a higher level we will consider our options.


The FA really haven't got this sussed at all have they? It's the ultimate chicken and egg situation - they want clubs to keep progressing (to fill the ever expanding and unsustainable pyramid, which is looking increasingly top heavy these days), but you can't access the grants you need to progress until you're already there. Barmy.

As KR states, the standard in the West Lancs (and many others like them) is very, very good, whilst the facilities are adequate for spectators rather than being unrealistically palatial.

If I were CRFC I wouldn't consider a move up until they were absolutely sure it was sustainable in the long term.

The piece from the NWCFL website again explores many areas but as usual, misses the key point: you can't come in until your facilities are up to our standards (unnecessarily inflated standards, imho), you can't get the grants to do the work until you do, and then they wonder why 6 leagues don't provide enough clubs to fill the vacancies. In the current financial climate they are really going to have to lower expectations and probably lower their numbers, why do they need 22 clubs per division?

Reading Keith's posting it really isn't hard to see why few clubs want to step up.

As more and more clubs struggle at levels in the pyramid they can't afford, when are the FA going to accept that smaller leagues and more regionalisation is the way forward?


acmold
Man City Transfer Target!

Dec 16, 2008, 4:20 PM

Posts: 14497
Location:
Team(s):

Post #6 of 7 (4194 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Seagull] NWCFL & step 7 applications [In reply to] Can't Post or

If you read the local league round up's in our local paper on a Wednesday quite a number of Hellenic and even the odd Southern League player are now playing in the Oxfordshire Senior League, North Berks League and the Witney & District League, if players are not going to get £60 or £70 quid a week to play they just play with their mates. They won't play at step 5 and 6 for £10 or £20 a week, they don't want the travelling, committment and hassle. But the clubs are having to keep up grounds for X,000 people when only a handful of people are willing to pay to watch. League's below step 6 can be very good these days while clubs at step 5 / 6 struggle to get players, and why should good local club s want to progress if all it's going to do is cause them hassle and cost them money.

I've seen a couple of games in the Cambridgeshire League this season, step 7 and a number of the players on show were good enough for step's 6, 5 and even the odd one for step 4.


rainworthgord
First Team Star

Dec 16, 2008, 5:17 PM

Posts: 2112
Location:
Team(s):

Post #7 of 7 (4165 views)
Shortcut
Re: [acmold] NWCFL & step 7 applications [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

According to the document circulated to NCEL clubs which I referred to on another thread, step 6 will require a G grade, the requirements for which are currently being looked at again.

But the document also says that clubs without a G grade can be admitted to step 6, provided that they obtain their grading by 31st March of their first season at that level.

This does seem to go some way to solving the chicken and egg situation, although obtaining grants can be a long, drawn out job, and eight or nine months may not be long enough for some projects like new dressing rooms etc.

 
 


free hit counters

Search for (options) HOSTED BY SUMMIT SOCCER v.1.2.3