I know the season of Goodwill to All is soon to be upon us and I apologise for starting this Presidents Page on a serious note, but I have to.
You will, I'm sure, all be aware by now that we have become a Limited Company or, to be legally precise, a company Limited by Guarantee.
This will have no effect on the way the league is run.....it will still be me and my merry band making the decisions and trying to keep everybody happy.....but it safeguards us (the Committee) against having to fulfil any debts the League might incur, after the League funds have been exhausted, from our own pockets.
To date, we have not been in this position, but we came close a few years ago with some litigation we were involved in, and, having spent my working life in Insurance, I am aware of situations that may arise where someone suffers an injury, insurers refuse to pay because of some clause of which we are unaware, and we, as committee members are lumbered with the debt.
Serving on the committee is voluntary and, in all conscience, I cannot allow this situation to continue, so we've gone ahead and done it.
I will be explaining a little more at the Clubs' meeting in January, but shortly, Phil Platt will be writing to each club with the articles of Association and an agreement that you will have to sign to confirm that you are willing to continue in the Manchester Football League Limited, there will be nothing in the Articles contrary to what we do now, but some things have been tidied up, the main one being in the way we communicate with clubs.
Our preferred method will be by email and within the Articles (which are the FA Model Articles, supplied by them at our request) it will say that where we send notices or documents by email to the correct address, you will be deemed to have received them 24 hours after they were sent.
So please make sure we have your correct email address.....the "I never got your email" excuse won't work in future.
I have still to finalise arrangements with the bank but it is our intention to start "Trading" on January 1st 2019.
Over recent weeks I have had several complaints from clubs and referees, about the state of dressing rooms.
I accept that some Clubs have little or no control over what goes on because they are council or whatever, facilities, but PLEASE KEEP THEM TIDY AND WATERPROOF WALKWAYS CLEAR FROM OBSTRUCTIONS AND SAFE TO WALK ON (Concrete floors and metal or plastic studs don't always mix well and where the floors are wet or painted can be dangerous) I think you can probably guess what's coming next, yes it's our old friend HEALTH AND SAFETY.
When I was at Atherton I know spare kits and stuff were "stored" in the referees' room......and we weren't the only ones.....I think since my time at Atherton things have changed across the League, but if not.......leave the ref's room for the ref, not old smelly kits, or nets, or footballs, or discarded towels!
We have been lucky with the weather so far but it was bloody wet over the weekend and bloody cold when I got up this morning so, the days of weather-related postponements can't be far away. Please bear in mind the rules regarding postponed matches.
The football so far this season, from what I have seen, has been pretty good and I'm glad to say player behaviour has improved, I hope that continues and all of you can be competing for the Respect awards we dish out.
That's enough from me, you've all got better things to do than to read this, although in my case it's getting back on my bike turbo trainer to try to restore some fitness following my hernia operation......not an easy task I've gone backwards a lot quicker than I went forwards, but I need to do it.
I hope all of you and your families and loved ones have a happy, safe and Merry Christmas and New Year, I hope the 2 week break Scott has been able to organise in the fixtures gives you time to do your shopping or, if you prefer, go out and celebrate, I think I know which I will be doing, but whatever take care see you all soon.
Merry Christmas from me and all the members of the Management Committee.