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12 Angry Men

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About 12 Angry Men

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  1. According to information available from the SFA, there are 62 ‘non-league’ clubs currently licensed. Although this information may be a little out of date, only Bo’ness United, Blackburn United, Easthouses Lily MW, Haddington Athletic, Hill of Beath Hawthorn and Newtongrange Star appear to hold licences out as far as 2022, most probably due to those other current license holders having yet to undergo their next renewal review. I assume, though, that the attached list will be updated when the likes of Dunbar United, who have announced their successful application, and the successful WoSFL applicants are ratified as new license holders, and therefore members, at a forthcoming AGM?
  2. I think Blackburn United had already gone pretty much the entire way to overhauling their near neighbours in Fauldhouse, Bathgate, Whitburn and Armadale before they made the move to the Seniors, certainly off the park with the remarkable strides made in growing such a large community club set-up for boys, girls and ladies and in redeveloping New Murrayfield Park into the top notch facility that it now is. On the park too, I seem to remember that their last season in the Juniors saw them playing in the league above Armadale Thistle, who were by then already down in the South Division, and finishing above both Bathgate Thistle and Whitburn in the Premier Division. Really though, each of these four clubs made a poor decision in not moving to the EoSFL when the chance was theirs at the beginning of the last two seasons. Had they done so, they could very well have been playing where they properly belong and that's against the likes of Linlithgow, Bo'ness, Penicuik, Broxburn et al. Hopefully it's a mistake each club will very soon rectify.
  3. This is by far the most sensible comment on the topic of boundaries. Boundaries need to exist - not, "but I'm close to the boundary so let me choose" because who decides how close is close enough for that to be a choice? However, there can and should be exceptions to every rule to allow the sensible application of that rule and where a town or village actually straddles the boundary line then, as Marten very succinctly points out, this is a very good reason to sensibly apply an exception.
  4. For what it’s worth, I think the ‘original’ EoSFL clubs have, via the excellent use of conference leagues, been more than accommodating to the influx of ex-Juniors over the last two seasons. However, the time for creating structure in the leagues with an eye to accommodating further Junior arrivals is surely now in the past?.....particularly as, if there is to be any more new arrivals, most will turn up kicking and screaming with a continuing belligerence about being forced to accept the inevitable. Accordingly, I strongly believe that a Tier 7 First Division should be created beneath the present Tier 6 Premier Division with a Tier 8 Second Division positioned below. It is into this Second Division that any new applicants should be accepted and it is here where the base of the pyramid should be expanded, creating regional divisions if and when necessary. Last season the Juniors had an opportunity to enter at Tier 6, this season the opportunity for Tier 7 pyramid football was on offer. For next season, to ensure proper structure of the leagues going forward those who didn’t take these opportunities when they were there really can’t complain about having to enter at Tier 8. There will be little alternative left open to them anyway.
  5. The thing is though, if the new information about the LL being all set to propose a WoSFL is accurate then it's too late for the bolt onto the Pyramid fix that has been available up until now. The continual muddying of the waters by SJFA and WRSJFA officials and their apologists on here has ensured that LL, EoSFL and SoSFL patience has finally snapped and they no longer want anything to do with any of the options offered up. The EoSFL compromised greatly in the way they accepted ERSJFA clubs in each of the last two years and the EoSFL, SoSFL and LL were willing to compromise at the end of last season by rejigging the Tier 5/6 play-off to accommodate the WRSJFA this season. The SJFA/WRSJFA have show absolutely no signs of being similarly willing to compromise in any way, hence it is all too late for them. A new, ready to go WoSFL could now be the one and only way into the Pyramid for WRSJFA clubs and should that be all but confirmed after this afternoon's PWG then now is the time to grasp that opportunity.
  6. I would caution that those who are all but promoting Option Z as this years “done deal” – those promoting it by default on here with what they believe is their forensic examination of some rather dubious ‘facts’ and those who, apparently, are promoting it in meetings and elsewhere as having the backing of both the SFA and the LL – might end up helping put at risk once again the WRSJFA in its entirety walking through the open door of Tier 6/7/8/9 entry. Those holding open that door, the LL and the EoSFL, could just as easily take what would appear to be the continuing antipathy of the SJFA as a final provocation and decide that it’s time to simply let it swing shut and open another one, perhaps by doing what has previously been mooted and proposing to set-up up a WoSFL and inviting applicants? This, ultimately, would offer a much simpler and clearer way forward with those WRSJFA clubs who wish access to the Pyramid and to the wider Scottish game applying and those who wish to remain in Junior football doing just that. As has always been the case, this would continue to leave ERSJFA clubs south of the Tay with an open route into the Pyramid via application to the EoSFL. North of Tay ERSJFA clubs merging with the NRSJFA clubs and providing a Tier 6 feeder to the HL seems an eminently sensible solution to me, particularly as these clubs already compete against each other in a district cup competition without [any?] issues.
  7. Precisely. Bizarre to think that Blackburn would do anything other than to slow matters down after taking the lead early in the game. When you’re away from home against a bigger and better resourced team then why would you even consider doing anything else after establishing a lead? For me it was excellent game management and, really, Bo’ness never genuinely looked like they would find their way through an excellent back four and a confident young goalkeeper. Indeed, as mentioned in an earlier post, a little more composure in front of goal in the closing quarter of an hour and Blackburn might very well have made their small band of supporters even happier with another goal or two.
  8. Yeah, because that's exactly how football clubs operate. I'm sure the Bathgate Thistle captain and Player of the Year from last season was simply released by the Creamery Park club to allow Blackburn to sign him last month.
  9. It’s a bit disingenuous to suggest that the Lowland League rejected a ‘compromise’ proposal that would have broken the logjam preventing WRSJFA sides accessing the Pyramid. This smacks of a deliberate attempt at revisionism. As has been pointed out by several posters, it reportedly and quickly became clear during and after the EoSFL General Meeting near the end of last season that Rod Petrie was making things up on the hoof and that the ‘compromise’ deal which is being spoken of here (handpicking entrants into a Lowland League play-off) was no more than an ill-thought out scheme poorly expressed during a garbled morass of other ill-thought out nonsense that was being sold as innovation by our new SFA President. I fear Rod Petrie and Ian Maxwell have other rabbit holes they will end up dragging Scottish football down but thankfully even they saw the folly of this particular one before it ever became a genuine proposition for the Lowland League – or the EoSFL – to vote on.
  10. Quotes lifted straight from the SFA website after the jobs for the boys appointments at the SFA AGM; Petrie – ““We are a members organisation with responsibility for all of the game. We need to harness our strengths and engage in a constructive way with all of our stakeholders to make the Scottish FA and the national game the best it can be at all levels.” Mulraney – “During my time as a Scottish FA board member I have seen progress in working closer with the membership and as Vice-President my commitment is to continue to advocate working more efficiently and effectively with and for our member clubs, so that the pursuit of higher standards is achieved in an integrated fashion.” Meanwhile, in the world we inhabit, the one that actually exists outside of their own febrile imaginations, we see last minute licensing hurdles put in the way of progressive clubs to deny them such progression, we see a club lauded in the SFA’s own annual review of 2018 (see page 32 of the review at https://www.scottishfa.co.uk/media/3848/scottish-fa-annual-review-2018.pdf) denied promotion because of these hurdles, we see prohibitive resolutions passed to ensure new member clubs have no voice and we see the door left open for further erosion of future new members benefits and the consequent regression of a genuine football pyramid. Such is the hypocrisy of those in charge of Scottish football.
  11. I think it's the Fauldhouse manager who posts on here as JC1 and, although not the strongest proponent of the Pyramid and of leaving the Juniors, I sense that he can see the direction of travel and it's maybe the likes of him and other like minded individuals at the clubs you mention that hold the key here - if they were to convince their clubs that one final opportunity exists to get out from under the yolk of the SJFA then maybe we would indeed see the logjam you talk about being broken.
  12. When you look at what Blackburn United – one of the historically smaller sides in West Lothian Junior football not so very long ago - have achieved over the past five or six years; - SFA Community Quality Mark - SFA Legacy Award - New ground - New 3G playing surface - Promotion from the ERSJFA South Division to the ERSJFA Premier League and a top five finish in that league last season - Early application to move to the EoSFL at the end of last season - 'Promotion' to the EoSFL Premier League at the first time of asking this season and retention of their Tier 6 status in Senior football - An early license application in for full membership of the SFA and a place in next seasons Scottish Cup then you really have to ask yourself…..what on earth must the remaining West Lothian Junior clubs, supporters and committee alike, be thinking? What were the decision makers at these clubs doing over the same time period to find themselves so far behind with no real vision for the future of their clubs other than loyalty to a dying ‘grade’ and a desperation to return to ‘local’ football where next term they might very well end up playing each other umpteen times a season in what could be considered no more than a glorified West Lothian amateur league?
  13. Agreed re a sad and untimely passing, I believe it was the daughter of the SFA President. You are quite correct too that the next scheduled SFA Board meeting was to be in June and I think you're almost certainly correct that there were many, if not all, who sit on that board entirely unaware of the importance of the 31st March date for the prospective EoSFL Conference winners and the SoSL winners with regard to licensing. I understand, though, that Ian Maxwell has subsequently been made aware on more than one occasion of the significance of that date and he has still failed to react with any urgency whatsoever. As I said in my previous post, as it is merely a rubber stamping of a Licensing Committee decision that has to happen here a conference call between board members would have been the most straight forward and efficient of solutions. However, straight forward and efficient are words that do not seem to appear in the SFA vocabulary .
  14. The fact that we are no further forward with this and that applicant clubs are left in limbo is just appalling on the part of the SFA. The Licensing Committee, as I understand it, do all the assessment work with regard to policies, documentation, procedures etc and with regard to suitability of ground and facilities too. Any discrepancies are then highlighted with an opportunity for the club being assessed to put things right before a pass or fail ‘report’ is issued. This ‘report’ is then put to a meeting of the Licensing Committee with a recommendation to confirm a passing clubs application meets all necessary requirements. Once the application is confirmed it’s the task of the SFA board to merely rubber stamp the application and confirm membership. The Licensing Committee can then issue a license. So, all the SFA Board are required to do, really, is rubber stamp all applications recommended to them by the Licensing Committee. This, surely, could easily be done by conference call with no need to wait for the next board meeting. The fact that this hasn’t happened is showing absolute contempt for the clubs involved. It’s just another example of the litany of failure and lack of understanding associated with the SFA and is why the current incumbents in positions of power are not fit for purpose.
  15. JC, it's this last bit that I and many others just don't get - loyalty to the grade. I've watched Junior football for years and have enjoyed almost every minute of it. However, I've watched a lot of senior football at all levels and enjoyed it just as much. Teams striving to win, clubs trying to improve themselves and fans, in large numbers or small, engaged in every last kick. Hand on heart, I've seen absolutely no difference between Junior or Senior football. None. I've even seen you play - I think! - and I've certainly watched the team you currently manage and manage well, so much so that it wouldn't be out of the question for other club's to be interested in what you have to offer as a manager. So, let me ask you a genuine question - if a strong club in the Seniors, say Tier 6 or even at next years Tier 7, were to approach you about becoming their manager and helping them push on would your loyalty to the Junior grade stand in your way or would you make your decision based purely on what that club had to offer? I'd be astounded if you did let loyalty to a dying grade prevent ambition and it really should be the same for your club - aspiration is surely what drives participation?
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