Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before I start on the main things, you will shortly be receiving an email from Phil Platt saying that following the fixtures on 17th December we will be "temporarily closing" the league from 21st December until 30th December, so we can all have a bit of a break.
You will recall that one of my great initiatives was the Man of the Match award, which I thought would give something back to the players and, unlike Golden Boot type awards, give all the players a chance to win something. The FA thought it was a good idea and agreed to part fund it via the League Development Plan. I have to say that whilst it has been running it has caused an absolute heap of trouble, not only in actually putting the information on the team sheet, but also in the fact that it doesn't appear to be taken that seriously. We have anecdotal evidence that some clubs just put down "any old number" and others are manipulating it by altering details on Full Time.
So......it is with regret, that I have to inform you that the award made at the end of December will be the last, and the scheme will be scrapped for the remainder of the season. I'm sorry lads, it just proved to be unworkable, other leagues manage it but it seems we couldn't.
At Monday night's meeting the subject of insurance cover was raised. Given my previous occupation, any queries of this nature end up with me so.....get ready for an insurance lesson!
The cover you may have included in your County affiliation fee is, according to the checking I have done, likely to be very basic it may NOT COVER BROKEN BONES, so you need to check your cover NOW, don't leave it until someone breaks something and you find they are not insured. Extra cover can be added for not a lot of money (an extra 14 quid per team for a bit of weekly benefit and broken bones) or you can pay a bit more for wider cover.
The other thing I would add is that if you have lads who are self employed or who don't get sick pay from their employers, the cover they get under any of these schemes will NOT be enough to give them decent payouts and they should really arrange their own Personal Accident cover.
It's that time of year when we get postponements, hard to believe I know but it rains and snows and freezes! So the usual reminder regarding postponements......make sure you do them according to league rules, with very few exceptions, the only person who can call the game off is the match referee or a local referee appointed by the match ref if it would involve a lot of travel particularly in the Premier Division.
Well I think that's just about it for this year save to wish all of you, your families and players, supporters and anyone involved with your club, a really great Christmas and Happy and prosperous New Year.......hopefully I will see you on a touchline somewhere in 2017.
Take care, enjoy your football,