A couple of apologies before I start.
Firstly, sorry this epistle is late but I have had other things to attend to, second, this is a bit different to my usual comments, but these things need to be said.
You all know that I wander round all the grounds in all the divisions just to make sure that things are running as smoothly as possible from the Leagues side, and also to pick up on any problems or grumbles you may have.
During the course of my wanderings I see lots of things, some that please me, some that displease me, and some that I think I need to bring to your attention to hopefully avoid problems in the future.
So........I have said this before but I need to repeat it, PLEASE KEEP YOUNG CHILDREN AWAY FROM THE PLAYING AREA AND DUGOUTS.
I welcome youngsters getting involved in football, they after all are the future of the game, but playing alongside the touch line whilst a game is in progress is NOT the place for them to be, I have even seen a lad of, I would guess 5, running up and down the touchline waging a linesman flag......sorry guys not only is this distracting for the referee,but it is dangerous, if he were to get hit by a clearance that your centre half has put his laces through, or get caught up in a tackle that goes off the pitch....need I say more.
Next, videoing of games. This is becoming more common and we have had several enquiries from referees as to whether or not we allow it.
There are laws that relate to when where and what you can film or photograph and I'm sure,like me, you have seen cases where someone has been taken to court by a parent who thinks that taking photos of their child was inappropriate. Before you say "ah child we are an open age league" a child is, as I understand it, in the terms of this law, anyone under the age of 18.
So I would ask all of you who use videos to check with your opposition, the referee and any other officials, and any spectators that they have no objection to the game being filmed, if they do DON'T FILM IT!
Whilst on this subject please check that your own Club has in place the correct Safeguarding procedures......which can also apply to officials under the age of 18.
Regrettably we live in an increasingly litigious age, PLEASE don't be the next one to be sued!!
We will be putting something on the web site to this effect but in the meanwhile please bear this in mind.
I can hear some of you saying....."Our Insurance will cover it".........I worked in Insurance all my life and believe me, it doesn't cover everything and if there is a get out clause, trust me they will use it!
I also need to tell you that there are soon to be changes to the structure of the League.
From what I can see none of these changes will affect the clubs or the way the League operates but we are going to become a limited company, or more precisely a company limited by guarantee. Some of you may already have done this, part particularly if you have had large loans or grants to fund new facilities.
When all this is complete we will be known as The Manchester Football League Ltd.
Well I did warn you that it was different, in fact I would go so far as to say boring, but that's it for this month.
Take care out there, enjoy your football,
See you all soon,