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billesleyexile View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billesleyexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 11:24
Originally posted by Halliford Halliford wrote:


I think the Championship should take heed of both of those lines and go to a 14 team League with minimum standards, including seating for 500+ and other facilities, particularly widely-spaced urinals!

To be honest, I think that goes for National 1 too - that and floodlights. No team should be in a national league without a grandstand*, catering, and the ability to light their pitch

*I say this as someone who chooses/prefers to stand



Edited by billesleyexile - 23 Jul 2020 at 11:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Joy of (Level) 7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 13:19
Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by Halliford Halliford wrote:


I think the Championship should take heed of both of those lines and go to a 14 team League with minimum standards, including seating for 500+ and other facilities, particularly widely-spaced urinals!

To be honest, I think that goes for National 1 too - that and floodlights. No team should be in a national league without a grandstand*, catering, and the ability to light their pitch

*I say this as someone who chooses/prefers to stand


Tonbridge Juddians will be an experience for you then!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raider999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 13:39
Originally posted by The Joy of (Level) 7 The Joy of (Level) 7 wrote:

Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by Halliford Halliford wrote:


I think the Championship should take heed of both of those lines and go to a 14 team League with minimum standards, including seating for 500+ and other facilities, particularly widely-spaced urinals!


To be honest, I think that goes for National 1 too - that and floodlights. No team should be in a national league without a grandstand*, catering, and the ability to light their pitch

*I say this as someone who chooses/prefers to stand




Tonbridge Juddians will be an experience for you then!


I dunno, there is plenty of standing -for your sake I hope it hasn't rained for a month before you visi
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billesleyexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 13:40
Originally posted by The Joy of (Level) 7 The Joy of (Level) 7 wrote:

Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by Halliford Halliford wrote:


I think the Championship should take heed of both of those lines and go to a 14 team League with minimum standards, including seating for 500+ and other facilities, particularly widely-spaced urinals!

To be honest, I think that goes for National 1 too - that and floodlights. No team should be in a national league without a grandstand*, catering, and the ability to light their pitch

*I say this as someone who chooses/prefers to stand


Tonbridge Juddians will be an experience for you then!

No more so than some who are already up here. TBH I've got no issues with the teams who have totally properly come up the leagues under the rules as they stand. I've got more of an issue with the rules... It's not TJ's fault they haven't been forced to do more lower down - looking forward to going down there in due course.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 13:59
The trouble with minimum criteria is that they are 'fixed' and don't take into effect the environment of the club. 

For example if we just look at minimum ground criteria; then it is fine to say a club must have X, Y and Z of whatever but what if those criteria are not under the club control because they share facilities with another sport or don't own the premises or can't get planning permission for larger changing rooms or floodlights etc. 

Do you cast them adrift despite they meet the rest of the criteria - kids, colts, women's, disabled, community outreach etc?

What if one of the criteria is to have two XV - a first and seconds but the geographic nature or physical nature doesn't allow this but the club is plays a valuable role in its local community. 

Minimum standards are a worthy idea but benefit the older, larger, richer (in context) clubs who have inherited or developed thier facilities over time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 13:59
Cambridge do not have liigts and have had long runing planning batles as he neighbours have objected. 
There are lights on the training pitch.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billesleyexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 14:16
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

The trouble with minimum criteria is that they are 'fixed' and don't take into effect the environment of the club. 

For example if we just look at minimum ground criteria; then it is fine to say a club must have X, Y and Z of whatever but what if those criteria are not under the club control because they share facilities with another sport or don't own the premises or can't get planning permission for larger changing rooms or floodlights etc. 

Do you cast them adrift despite they meet the rest of the criteria - kids, colts, women's, disabled, community outreach etc?

What if one of the criteria is to have two XV - a first and seconds but the geographic nature or physical nature doesn't allow this but the club is plays a valuable role in its local community. 

Minimum standards are a worthy idea but benefit the older, larger, richer (in context) clubs who have inherited or developed thier facilities over time.

I agree with you in general, although on the highlighted bit on grounds specifically I well remember Kidderminster Harriers, my hometown club, winning the Vauxhall Conference (as was) in 1993/4 with their ground not up to football league standard but scheduled to be upgraded by the start of the next season.

The FA turned round and said "sorry, win it again with your facilities finished on time" so they didn't go up for another 6 years and no one went down that season.

The effect of this (which also I think happened to both Woking and Stevenage) was that conference clubs got a grip and realised that they could have all the ambition in the world but until they were sorted on and off the pitch they weren't moving up the pyramid. Worth also bearing in mind that this was conference football in the early 1990s, so not the money pit football has now become.

Over the years all of that came up at that level - clubs were denied planning permission, they moved, they built new stands, and eventually the overall standard of plant in the league was much higher than it had been previously. Other clubs accepted their level and stayed happily where they were. One or two high profile casualties, like Rushden and Diamonds, blued silly money on brand new out of town grounds then collapsed because the money ran out. But they were the exception overall.

Basically I know exactly what it's like to be the supporter of a club who has been denied promotion because of ludicrous rules - there was never any argument that Aggborough would meet and indeed exceed the standards of the football league by the time the first ball of the next season was kicked, but they were still denied because it hadn't been finished by the previous January or whenever.

I do, however, quietly think that the RFU could learn something from the FA of nearly 30 years ago here though and start enforcing standards and yes, just start saying no to clubs until they can meet them. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 14:23
Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

The trouble with minimum criteria is that they are 'fixed' and don't take into effect the environment of the club. 

For example if we just look at minimum ground criteria; then it is fine to say a club must have X, Y and Z of whatever but what if those criteria are not under the club control because they share facilities with another sport or don't own the premises or can't get planning permission for larger changing rooms or floodlights etc. 

Do you cast them adrift despite they meet the rest of the criteria - kids, colts, women's, disabled, community outreach etc?

What if one of the criteria is to have two XV - a first and seconds but the geographic nature or physical nature doesn't allow this but the club is plays a valuable role in its local community. 

Minimum standards are a worthy idea but benefit the older, larger, richer (in context) clubs who have inherited or developed thier facilities over time.

I agree with you in general, although on the highlighted bit on grounds specifically I well remember Kidderminster Harriers, my hometown club, winning the Vauxhall Conference (as was) in 1993/4 with their ground not up to football league standard but scheduled to be upgraded by the start of the next season.

The FA turned round and said "sorry, win it again with your facilities finished on time" so they didn't go up for another 6 years and no one went down that season.

The effect of this (which also I think happened to both Woking and Stevenage) was that conference clubs got a grip and realised that they could have all the ambition in the world but until they were sorted on and off the pitch they weren't moving up the pyramid. Worth also bearing in mind that this was conference football in the early 1990s, so not the money pit football has now become.

Over the years all of that came up at that level - clubs were denied planning permission, they moved, they built new stands, and eventually the overall standard of plant in the league was much higher than it had been previously. Other clubs accepted their level and stayed happily where they were. One or two high profile casualties, like Rushden and Diamonds, blued silly money on brand new out of town grounds then collapsed because the money ran out. But they were the exception overall.

Basically I know exactly what it's like to be the supporter of a club who has been denied promotion because of ludicrous rules - there was never any argument that Aggborough would meet and indeed exceed the standards of the football league by the time the first ball of the next season was kicked, but they were still denied because it hadn't been finished by the previous January or whenever.

I do, however, quietly think that the RFU could learn something from the FA of nearly 30 years ago here though and start enforcing standards and yes, just start saying no to clubs until they can meet them. 

I understand the point. Emley football ended up moving, ultimately to the vacant College Grove, for the same reasons and it came to an ignominious end. 

We may as well end up with leagues built around off the field criteria and do away with any pretence of performance on the pitch being indicative of how good a club is. As you say it would make certain teams think twice about paying players if they know promotion isnt available due to lack of club facilities. 

It really needs that general conversation about how you measure success: results are only one way. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rabbie Burns Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 14:32
As I have said many times there are or were expected standards and used to be inspected annually. This has not happened for many years now. They used to be available on the NCA site but not sure now. Most teams in this league have the required standard as lights were only included if fitted but it was hard to check if the inspection happened during the day. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 15:40
The FA standards are clearly set out and well known and increase with each step on the pyramid.

The NCA standards are limited in that they simply requre

- a minimum size pitch,
- a barrier from the field of play,
- minimum standards for lights - if they are present
- provision of changing facilities.

There are detailed rules about who is permitted in the technical area. However, nobody is given the duty to police these and I have never seen them enforced. 

I believe lights are meant to be certified at least every three years.
But they are not a requirment, so if you fail you can I believe simply state you have no lights.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JonDee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 15:41
Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by The Joy of (Level) 7 The Joy of (Level) 7 wrote:

Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by Halliford Halliford wrote:


I think the Championship should take heed of both of those lines and go to a 14 team League with minimum standards, including seating for 500+ and other facilities, particularly widely-spaced urinals!


To be honest, I think that goes for National 1 too - that and floodlights. No team should be in a national league without a grandstand*, catering, and the ability to light their pitch

*I say this as someone who chooses/prefers to stand




Tonbridge Juddians will be an experience for you then!


No more so than some who are already up here. TBH I've got no issues with the teams who have totally properly come up the leagues under the rules as they stand. I've got more of an issue with the rules... It's not TJ's fault they haven't been forced to do more lower down - looking forward to going down there in due course.


There used to be a minimum standard in 2008 when we moved to Lady Bay we had to have lighting up to certain level stand for 500 and various other improvements . It wasa right pain so presumably they have been forgotten since
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hopping Mad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 17:00
Totally agree BE. Minimum criteria a must. Behaviours must be challenged. 

Edited by Hopping Mad - 23 Jul 2020 at 17:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 17:34
Yes but outside the 13 Premiership sides there are only 8 clubs that can regularly attract more than 1,000 people to their games.

Indeed only Coventry, Cornish and Bedford got 1,000 to every game.

Lets not put unnecessary financial requirements on clubs - especially at this time.
Why would Preston need a stand for 500 when only 300 turn up to most games.

Frankly if they ring fence the premiership - then the desire to buy promotion will become less, as that faint hope of doing an Exeter will have been taken away.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hopping Mad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 17:46
Camquin, I agree in the main but minimum criteria need to be across clubs not just applied to 1st XV (although the majority would be required to house crowds of any size).

From a game that has always been about participation to one that now needs to meet the needs of spectators, it is unacceptable to not invest in both.

Clearly some clubs would be able to grow club wide participation better than others for instance but that shouldn’t mean there isn’t responsibilities for all to promote the game. As was said, clubs can run community schemes if running a range of rugby is not their preferred approach.

But simply expecting some clubs to be the real grassroots of the game with the associated costs but absolving others of this isn’t really going to wash if we are all part of the same “heartland/community” league structure. 


Edited by Hopping Mad - 23 Jul 2020 at 17:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kempstonblue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 09:37
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

The (normal- pandemic excepted) club season (excluding pre season friendlies) is 35 weeks, from the beginning of September to the last week of April. You then have a window for County games in the five weeks of May. 

The proposed idea is only 16 of these 35 weeks will be used.  If you accept one weekend a month as a 'rest/bad weather/Christmas/Easter off/watch the internationals at HQ' then you lose another 8 weeks, leaving 27 potential game weekends. 11 of these are still going to be spare. 

As a club treasurer I would be asking what we do about those 11 weeks - potentially 5 or 6 home games without a first team fixture and there the bulk of club income. 

What solutions spring to mind? One is games against local rivals who aren't in the new league; these are usually good for increasing the gate. But that idea only works if your rivals are in a league where there are also spare weekends which match up with your spare weekends - easier said than done. 

A similar idea would be to go back to the 'Easter' tours of old and have something different for your players and supporters. 

Second would be a form of cup competition - either within the league or outside it, such as a return to competing in County Cups for some teams.  However the traditional cup formats do not guarantee above one fixture - and no guarantee that will be at home. So you bring in a convoluted pool system and defeat the original point - However, if the consensus is 'less is better quality', why schedule any other games - just book the club treasurer a hospital bed now to recover from the shock. 

Are you suggesting Christmas off?
Boxing Day home matches at Bedford are often the highest attendance of the season.
Last two years we had Ampthill in friendly and league.

Although I appreciate at lower levels it is time off, and if the league is amateur then raising teams might be a problem. But even in the 1980s Bedford, Boxing Day was Old Paulines matches.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 12:27
Originally posted by kempstonblue kempstonblue wrote:

Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

The (normal- pandemic excepted) club season (excluding pre season friendlies) is 35 weeks, from the beginning of September to the last week of April. You then have a window for County games in the five weeks of May. 

The proposed idea is only 16 of these 35 weeks will be used.  If you accept one weekend a month as a 'rest/bad weather/Christmas/Easter off/watch the internationals at HQ' then you lose another 8 weeks, leaving 27 potential game weekends. 11 of these are still going to be spare. 

As a club treasurer I would be asking what we do about those 11 weeks - potentially 5 or 6 home games without a first team fixture and there the bulk of club income. 

What solutions spring to mind? One is games against local rivals who aren't in the new league; these are usually good for increasing the gate. But that idea only works if your rivals are in a league where there are also spare weekends which match up with your spare weekends - easier said than done. 

A similar idea would be to go back to the 'Easter' tours of old and have something different for your players and supporters. 

Second would be a form of cup competition - either within the league or outside it, such as a return to competing in County Cups for some teams.  However the traditional cup formats do not guarantee above one fixture - and no guarantee that will be at home. So you bring in a convoluted pool system and defeat the original point - However, if the consensus is 'less is better quality', why schedule any other games - just book the club treasurer a hospital bed now to recover from the shock. 

Are you suggesting Christmas off?
Boxing Day home matches at Bedford are often the highest attendance of the season.
Last two years we had Ampthill in friendly and league.

Although I appreciate at lower levels it is time off, and if the league is amateur then raising teams might be a problem. But even in the 1980s Bedford, Boxing Day was Old Paulines matches.

Personally no, I'm putting forward reasons for the lack of fixtures under this bananas of an idea. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 12:37
Take Worcester for example. In the fully completed 2018/19 season they played 3 preseason friendlies, 22 Premiership games, 7 European games and 5 Premiership Cup games. 

34 competitive fixtures. Yet we are told less is better and the Championship clubs are expected to play LESS than HALF that number of fixtures and remain financially viable doing so. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 12:41
The problem with local derbies is finding then.
Either the rival is in your league - when you will be playing them. Bedford v Ampthill.
Or not - in which case it is likely to be a mis-match.
Cambridge v Shelford would be a big draw, if it were competitive. So the season we were both in Nat 2S it was a goldmine for the two clubs.
But cambridge got promoted and Shelford were relegated.
And now it is a three league gap - Level 3 against level 6.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kempstonblue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 12:45
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

Originally posted by kempstonblue kempstonblue wrote:

Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

The (normal- pandemic excepted) club season (excluding pre season friendlies) is 35 weeks, from the beginning of September to the last week of April. You then have a window for County games in the five weeks of May. 

The proposed idea is only 16 of these 35 weeks will be used.  If you accept one weekend a month as a 'rest/bad weather/Christmas/Easter off/watch the internationals at HQ' then you lose another 8 weeks, leaving 27 potential game weekends. 11 of these are still going to be spare. 

As a club treasurer I would be asking what we do about those 11 weeks - potentially 5 or 6 home games without a first team fixture and there the bulk of club income. 

What solutions spring to mind? One is games against local rivals who aren't in the new league; these are usually good for increasing the gate. But that idea only works if your rivals are in a league where there are also spare weekends which match up with your spare weekends - easier said than done. 

A similar idea would be to go back to the 'Easter' tours of old and have something different for your players and supporters. 

Second would be a form of cup competition - either within the league or outside it, such as a return to competing in County Cups for some teams.  However the traditional cup formats do not guarantee above one fixture - and no guarantee that will be at home. So you bring in a convoluted pool system and defeat the original point - However, if the consensus is 'less is better quality', why schedule any other games - just book the club treasurer a hospital bed now to recover from the shock. 

Are you suggesting Christmas off?
Boxing Day home matches at Bedford are often the highest attendance of the season.
Last two years we had Ampthill in friendly and league.

Although I appreciate at lower levels it is time off, and if the league is amateur then raising teams might be a problem. But even in the 1980s Bedford, Boxing Day was Old Paulines matches.

Personally no, I'm putting forward reasons for the lack of fixtures under this bananas of an idea. 



Thanks. It was clarifying, I know below Championship no league matches are played. 
If, big if, the season doesn’t begin until January I hope clubs play friendlies over the festive season.

I earlier suggested 16 team Championship and National 1. Some ideas maybe 14 team.
So 14 teams, each conference 7 sides, 12 matches + 7. Would that mean half the clubs have 10 home games, the others 9?

agree too few fixtures is a real Banaba skin.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kempstonblue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 12:48
Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

The problem with local derbies is finding then.
Either the rival is in your league - when you will be playing them. Bedford v Ampthill.
Or not - in which case it is likely to be a mis-match.
Cambridge v Shelford would be a big draw, if it were competitive. So the season we were both in Nat 2S it was a goldmine for the two clubs.
But cambridge got promoted and Shelford were relegated.
And now it is a three league gap - Level 3 against level 6.

Guess the powers that be, if you had to play a local rival would choose Cambridge and Bishops Stortford?


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