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Club Licencing

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If the standards within the LL were higher, they'd have more ground to stand on with their fairly myopic viewpoint. Any higher ground they're upon appears to be (and smells of) a heap of coo shite.

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Not quite.

 

You don't get paid traveling time to get to your work unless it's to a location other than your primary workplace for that job.

 

Travel time to and from training and to and from home games doesn't legally count as paid hours.

 

The national minimum wage is also different depending on age, so it's not uniform across a squad.

 

There's also the (perfectly legal) ability to pay up to 45p per mile per week in expenses without paying any "wage".

 

For some players, if travelling a relatively small distance, the expense entitlement can be more than minimum wage entitlement after tax so it makes more sense to pay expenses only.

 

Legal entitlement to expenses can also be more than the money some teams could afford to pay individuals as well, meaning non taxable (legitimate, but you have to track and amend payments when sessions missed) expenses are the better option.

 

For example, a 23 year old who lives 15 miles from the home ground/training park would be entitled to 90*45p per week, (plus an average of travel distance to away games over the league season, which increases that, but we'll ignore for this example).

 

That player would be entitled to a maximum of £41 in expenses per week by HMRC guidelines. Minimum wage for their age would be around £53.90 per week, but that is liable to tax and NI which would reduce that to roughly £39.35 at 20% tax code. Expenses is non taxable (as actually incurred) so expenses the better option.

 

The calculation is different for every player, and for many clubs they would likely have a budget that means most players can't be offered more than maximum expenses entitlement anyway.

 

I would wager that most clubs have a mix of amateur/non contract players on legit expenses and professional players on wages where they command more than what could legitimately be paid as expenses.

 

It's not quite as simple as £x per week minimum wage X 20 across a squad to work out a budget.

All your figures still point to a minimum of well over £50 as I indicated to legally pay a pro. Guarantee numerous clubs are legally using paye but paying figures such as £25 a week. That would hardly cover the minimum 3 hours required on a matchday.

Still plenty clubs not even using paye. No names but a kid working for me and playing for a superleague team was still getting cash without pay slips

 

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St Andrews United have made their public statement on the matter

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=865627453773183&id=217764468559488

Quote

ST ANDREWS UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB STATEMENT – CLUB LICENSING

It is with regret that the St Andrews United Committee has to announce that the club’s application for membership of the Scottish Football Association [SFA] combined with a licence to play in next season’s Scottish Cup has been rejected on the grounds that we do not possess operational floodlights.

The St Andrews United Committee took a bold decision to move away from the Scottish Junior Football Association last summer because of the rapidly expanding nature of the Senior leagues in conjunction with the development of a pyramid style structure. The mass exodus of 27 fellow Junior clubs to the East of Scotland League helped persuade interested parties that United’s future lay in the Senior ranks even though facilities at Barnetts Park required upgrading to obtain SFA membership. A licence from the SFA is not required to play in the East of Scotland League but clubs that possess such an award receive additional grants, support, prize-money, sponsorship and promotion opportunities plus entry into the same Scottish Cup as the top teams in the country. The committee consequently decided that St Andrews United could afford to undertake the costly steps to acquire a licence based upon the basic entry level criteria laid down by the SFA last summer. A £2,000 membership fee was then paid to the SFA on the basis we faced a fair chance of completing all necessary improvements to Barnetts Park, working practices and first team facilities.

Unfortunately, the SFA’s decision midway through the 2018/19 season to stipulate the need for floodlights as an additional requirement placed several clubs such as Saints into a compromised position. An incredible amount of work was still undertaken by supporters, volunteers and the chairman to satisfy all other licensing criteria and we hoped for a period of derogation to allow for the installation of floodlights at such short notice. Planning provision and quotes for the cost of such work have since been sought but a short email circulated by SFA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell on Tuesday has derailed our attempts to secure that desired licence.

The email read: "Regarding the above, I am write [sic] to confirm that following consideration by the Board, your application for membership of the Scottish Football Association has been rejected as your club is not complaint [sic] with current Entry Level criteria – specifically provision of floodlighting. I appreciate this is disappointing news however I’m sure you can understand the Scottish FA’s desire to continue to improve standards within our game.”

Since the SFA’s decision to withhold licences from St Andrews United, Bonnyrigg Rose, Camelon, Dundonald Bluebell, Haddington Athletic and Tranent could actually prevent the continued improvement in standards across Scotland, several clubs must now consider whether or not further investment is going to be worthwhile in the long-term. However, the disappointingly prolonged nature of the recent licensing application process may be forgotten if the pyramid continues to evolve and a greater emphasis is placed upon the development of football at grassroots levels. Small community clubs in Scotland such as St Andrews United clearly desire an opportunity to play at an appropriate level within a fair Scottish pyramid system that allows for the type of progression and suitable levels of competition no longer available at Junior level.

The St Andrews United Committee will now meet next week to discuss plans for the club’s future but we are confident that all of the hard work undertaken with a view towards gaining a licence will not go to waste. Should we wish to proceed with plans to obtain a licence plus SFA membership then our £2,000 entry fee is still valid and another application may be made next year once we have installed working floodlights. Further, the player budget has already been discussed for next season and our hopes of winning promotion to the East of Scotland Premier League will not be greatly affected by this week’s disappointing news.

Finally, we must congratulate Blackburn United, Broxburn Athletic, Easthouses Lily, Hill of Beath Hawthorn, Penicuik Athletic and Tynecastle for successfully obtaining membership of the SFA this week – hopefully we will be playing those sides in the 2020/21 Scottish Cup as part of our centenary season celebrations!

 

 

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All your figures still point to a minimum of well over £50 as I indicated to legally pay a pro. Guarantee numerous clubs are legally using paye but paying figures such as £25 a week. That would hardly cover the minimum 3 hours required on a matchday.Still plenty clubs not even using paye. No names but a kid working for me and playing for a superleague team was still getting cash without pay slips  

 

Oh I don't doubt it. 

I was only pointing out, as someone who has run a budget for two separate teams in the last 5 years, it's quite complicated, you have to consider there are multiple types of contracts and multiple different ways to legally give players money. It's not just as simple as 20 in a squad x £70 a week minimum wage over 40 weeks and that's the teams budget as had been suggested.

 

There will absolutely be teams flouting the rules knowingly, others probably unknowingly (not that HMRC care of you know or not!), but those doing it properly will likely have a fair mix of contract types, payment methods and players, all of which is perfectly acceptable tax wise.

 

For what it's worth, attached are my minimum wage calculations based on 2x90 minute training sessions and an average of 4 hours per game over the season (home games 2 and 3/4 hours, away games 5 and a 1/4 hours as an average).

 

 EDIT: Can't upload pics for some reason.

 

 

 

 

 

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ST ANDREWS UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB STATEMENT – CLUB LICENSING

It is with regret that the St Andrews United Committee has to announce that the club’s application for membership of the Scottish Football Association [SFA] combined with a licence to play in next season’s Scottish Cup has been rejected on the grounds that we do not possess operational floodlights. 

The St Andrews United Committee took a bold decision to move away from the Scottish Junior Football Association last summer because of the rapidly expanding nature of the Senior leagues in conjunction with the development of a pyramid style structure.  The mass exodus of 27 fellow Junior clubs to the East of Scotland League helped persuade interested parties that United’s future lay in the Senior ranks even though facilities at Barnetts Park required upgrading to obtain SFA membership.  A licence from the SFA is not required to play in the East of Scotland League but clubs that possess such an award receive additional grants, support, prize-money, sponsorship and promotion opportunities plus entry into the same Scottish Cup as the top teams in the country.  The committee consequently decided that St Andrews United could afford to undertake the costly steps to acquire a licence based upon the basic entry level criteria laid down by the SFA last summer.  A £2,000 membership fee was then paid to the SFA on the basis we faced a fair chance of completing all necessary improvements to Barnetts Park, working practices and first team facilities.     

Unfortunately, the SFA’s decision midway through the 2018/19 season to stipulate the need for floodlights as an additional requirement placed several clubs such as Saints into a compromised position.  An incredible amount of work was still undertaken by supporters, volunteers and the chairman to satisfy all other licensing criteria and we hoped for a period of derogation to allow for the installation of floodlights at such short notice.  Planning provision and quotes for the cost of such work have since been sought but a short email circulated by SFA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell on Tuesday has derailed our attempts to secure that desired licence. 

The email read: "Regarding the above, I am write [sic] to confirm that following consideration by the Board, your application for membership of the Scottish Football Association has been rejected as your club is not complaint [sic] with current Entry Level criteria – specifically provision of floodlighting.  I appreciate this is disappointing news however I’m sure you can understand the Scottish FA’s desire to continue to improve standards within our game.”  

Since the SFA’s decision to withhold licences from St Andrews United, Bonnyrigg Rose, Camelon, Dundonald Bluebell, Haddington Athletic and Tranent could actually prevent the continued improvement in standards across Scotland, several clubs must now consider whether or not further investment is going to be worthwhile in the long-term.  However, the disappointingly prolonged nature of the recent licensing application process may be forgotten if the pyramid continues to evolve and a greater emphasis is placed upon the development of football at grassroots levels.  Small community clubs in Scotland such as St Andrews United clearly desire an opportunity to play at an appropriate level within a fair Scottish pyramid system that allows for the type of progression and suitable levels of competition no longer available at Junior level. 

The St Andrews United Committee will now meet next week to discuss plans for the club’s future but we are confident that all of the hard work undertaken with a view towards gaining a licence will not go to waste.  Should we wish to proceed with plans to obtain a licence plus SFA membership then our £2,000 entry fee is still valid and another application may be made next year once we have installed working floodlights.  Further, the player budget has already been discussed for next season and our hopes of winning promotion to the East of Scotland Premier League will not be greatly affected by this week’s disappointing news.

Finally, we must congratulate Blackburn United, Broxburn Athletic, Easthouses Lily, Hill of Beath Hawthorn, Penicuik Athletic and Tynecastle for successfully obtaining membership of the SFA this week – hopefully we will be playing those sides in the 2020/21 Scottish Cup as part of our centenary season celebrations!

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10 minutes ago, FairWeatherFan said:

St Andrews United have made their public statement on the matter

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=865627453773183&id=217764468559488

 

 

Sorry, just realised you beat me to it FWF!!!!  I'm trying to post the statement in a few places but having technical glitches with our own website!!!!!!

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One thing I'm curious about - is why it's taken so long to get to this point for the clubs without lights. 
I'm assuming Bonnyrigg, Haddington, etc. asked the licensing committee at their audit or the SFA later on: "are you going to give us a derogation or is there any point in continuing this process without floodlights?". So who is it that has strung these clubs along for months knowing that no lights means application rejected - the licensing committee, SFA Board, Maxwell, Petrie (or did the clubs mess up)?
I think they must've been strung along as the Bonnyrigg committee were still optimistic of getting the licence last Saturday.

It they'd known it was no lights = no licence I'm sure a contingency arrangement with Penicuik or Easthouses could have been drawn up.

It's not like the lowland league could complain about clubs moving games about as it happens already with BSC or Vale of Leithen (not getting at either club)

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The SFA could have used one of their own precedents to get round the licensing problem, by issuing  a "conditional membership".  I haven't seen a documented process of how to obtain such a membership though, unless it is written on the back of a few brown envelopes.

Apparently it was used once, a few years ago, to get round their own rules to permit a new club to join the SFL.  :whistle

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1 hour ago, calmac25 said:

It they'd known it was no lights = no licence I'm sure a contingency arrangement with Penicuik or Easthouses could have been drawn up.

It's not like the lowland league could complain about clubs moving games about as it happens already with BSC or Vale of Leithen (not getting at either club)

They would need to have entered into a proper groundsharing agreement with either of those to actually get their licence as the LL can only accepted licensed members. And then they'd need to get the LL board approval to switch back to NDP if they want to play at "home".

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They would need to have entered into a proper groundsharing agreement with either of those to actually get their licence as the LL can only accepted licensed members. And then they'd need to get the LL board approval to switch back to NDP if they want to play at "home".
My point is that delaying the licencing decisions until May denies the team an opportunity to make other arrangements.

If Bonnyrigg had known this in Feb/March (I'm almost certain that they didn't) they would have had time to look at alternatives

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5 hours ago, Saints1921 said:

 

The email read: "Regarding the above, I am write [sic] to confirm that following consideration by the Board, your application for membership of the Scottish Football Association has been rejected as your club is not complaint [sic] with current Entry Level criteria – specifically provision of floodlighting.  I appreciate this is disappointing news however I’m sure you can understand the Scottish FA’s desire to continue to improve standards within our game.”  

 

Chapeau for inserting those sics. I'd expect nothing less from the university town.

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11 hours ago, Footballfirst said:

The SFA could have used one of their own precedents to get round the licensing problem, by issuing  a "conditional membership".  I haven't seen a documented process of how to obtain such a membership though, unless it is written on the back of a few brown envelopes.

Apparently it was used once, a few years ago, to get round their own rules to permit a new club to join the SFL.  :whistle

Well done Sir/Madam an excellent point. One for the sfa to provide an answer to but won’t of course.

And to add to the conspiracy I wonder if TJ had a say in it, getting his retaliation in for the mass evacuation from the East Junior Clubs at the end of last season.

Sack the board Sack the board Sack the board.

C’mon The Rose 

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If TJ was involved in any way in blocking this then considering that 5 "traitors" did get a licence then we've seen another thing he isnt very good at! ;)

I dont think the refusals to issue a licence were anything more than clubs not having the appropriate facilities in place and if I was the clubs who were refused a licence I'd also be ensuring that I have covered seating in place for their next licencing inspection as thats surely going to be the next step in upgrading grounds that will be a mandatory requirement.

 

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You've got to wonder, did the SFA do an investigation of - How many games in the East of Scotland conferences and Lowland League were actually played under floodlight?  are they needed or just have earlier kick-offs

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Most of us have our heads buried in what goes on (or doesn't go on) in Scotland but if you look at other nations things seem to be light years ahead in terms of consultation with clubs, standards of facilities required for each level, financial assistance, and open-ness about what is required and the timescales available to get things in place. Ground sharing to reach a certain level is OK too. 

Take the current re-structuring in Wales. The selection of clubs for their Tier 2 is underway and this is the latest taken from the FAW web site:

 

"8 May 2019

FAW Tier 2 First Instance Body Decision - 43 Clubs Successful

The FAW Tier 2 First Instance Body met today (8 May 2019) in Cardiff to consider the Tier 2 Certification Applications for the 2019/20 season.

The Panel assessed 47 applicants for the Tier 2 Certification and clubs were assessed against a number of infrastructure and personnel criteria. 

FAW Tier 2 Certification is a mandatory requirement for clubs to participate at Tier 2 of the Welsh Football Pyramid for the 2019/20 season.

Following today’s meeting, the independent First Instance Body decided on the following:

 

FAW TIER 2 CERTIFIED CLUBS 2019/20

 

Huws Gray Alliance League (16):

  • Airbus UK Broughton – promoted to JD Welsh Premier League
  • Bangor City
  • Buckley Town
  • Conwy Borough
  • Denbigh Town
  • Flint Town United
  • Gresford Athletic
  • Guilsfield
  • Holyhead Hotspur
  • Holywell Town
  • Llanrhaeader – certified at Llansantffraid FC
  • Penrhyncoch
  • Porthmadog
  • Prestatyn Town
  • Rhyl
  • Ruthin Town

 

Welsh Football League – Division 1 (14):

  • Afan Lido
  • Ammanford Town
  • Briton Ferry
  • Cambrian & Clydach
  • Cwmamman United
  • Cwmbran Celtic
  • Goytre United
  • Haverfordwest County
  • Llantwit Major
  • Penybont – promoted to JD Welsh Premier League
  • Pontypridd Town – certified at Aberdare Town FC
  • Taffs Well
  • Ton Pentre
  • Undy Athletic

 

Welsh Alliance League (1):

  • Llangefni Town

 

Welsh National League (2):

  • Brickfield Rangers
  • Corwen

 

Mid Wales League (3):

  • Berriew
  • Caersws
  • Llanfair United

 

Welsh Football League – Division 2 (4):

  • Caldicot Town
  • Caerau Ely
  • Pontardawe Town
  • Swansea University

 

In addition, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno and Llanelli Townall meet the FAW Tier 2 Certification Criteria which takes the total number of successful clubs to 43.

Of the remaining applications, the following clubs were not granted Tier 2 Certification for the 2019 / 20 season:

 

Welsh Football League – Division 1 (2):

  • Goytre FC
  • Port Talbot Town

Welsh Football League – Division 2 (4):

  • Abergavenny Town
  • Croesyceiliog
  • Risca United
  • STM Sports

Welsh National League (1):

  • Brymbo

 

All clubs have the right of appeal, in accordance with FAW Rule 43.2.3."

 

They are creating a new Tier 2 and will turn to Tier 3 in twelve months time. However, the clubs have known the requirements for Tiers 1, 2 and 3 for years. This isn't rocket science.

 

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Civil and Vale of Leithen were inspected in December and given a licence as per:

Club Licence Update April 2019

What are the terms of their derogation? There must be derogation, because the new criteria was in place when the grounds were inspected no?

Edited by BS7

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Civil and Vale of Leithen were inspected in December and given a licence as per:
Club Licence Update April 2019
What are the terms of their derogation? There must be derogation, because the new criteria was in place when the grounds were inspected no?
Also, who granted the derogation, the Licence Committee (as per process) or the SFA Board?

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20 minutes ago, BS7 said:

Civil and Vale of Leithen were inspected in December and given a licence as per:

Club Licence Update April 2019

What are the terms of their derogation? There must be derogation, because the new criteria was in place when the grounds were inspected no?

It has been pointed out to me that while they had their last review in December, it doesn't mean that's when they were audited etc.

One of the reasons December audits were carried out under 2019 rules was because they were reviewed by the LC in February.

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6 minutes ago, Burnie_man said:
26 minutes ago, BS7 said:
Civil and Vale of Leithen were inspected in December and given a licence as per:
Club Licence Update April 2019
What are the terms of their derogation? There must be derogation, because the new criteria was in place when the grounds were inspected no?

Also, who granted the derogation, the Licence Committee (as per process) or the SFA Board?

You'll have possibly seen this document - I hadn't until today:

https://www.scottishfa.co.uk/media/4676/scottish-fa-club-licensing-manual-2019.pdf

Something seems not quite right.

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5 minutes ago, FairWeatherFan said:

It has been pointed out to me that while they had their last review in December, it doesn't mean that's when they were audited etc.

One of the reasons December audits were carried out under 2019 rules was because they were reviewed by the LC in February.

I can see the point you're making, but that would also start to throw up a host of issues in relation to timing - not least being disadvantaged by the embargo, and the timing of the inspections, and the timeline for consideration.

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