Weekly club update: Sat 24 April
This past week in football has been all about two big stories – the ill-fated European Super League and National League re-structure.
Enough has been written about the attempted European break-away. The re-structure at Step 4 and below of our non-league pyramid has attracted a lot less coverage but it is a significant, and in the views of many, over-due re-vamp. There has largely been a favourable response to the re-structure plans, creating a more “pure” pyramid. This entails creating an extra division at Step 4 taking the total number of divisions to eight, two extra divisions at Step 5 and a reduction below this at Step 6. The plans were put on hold last year due to Covid and the annulment of the season but are being taken through this year much to some people’s surprise and with a plan to be in place for the big kick-off in August.
Despite last season and this being declared null and void a system of unweighted points per game (ppg) based on results over the two seasons will determine which clubs are offered the chance of promotion, the opportunity passed to lower placed clubs on ppg should the offer be turned down.
There is much to do to bring these proposals to fruition starting with a FA Council meeting held last Thursday to confirm the plan after which eligible clubs can now apply for promotion with the league constitutions to be confirmed in mid-May.
While these changes do not directly impact on Steps 1 and 2 they simplify the structure of the non-league game and bring greater clarity. Given the widespread unhappiness with governance at Steps 1 and 2 over the past 15 months, the decisive way that these significant changes are being brought about, and with broad consent from most of those directly involved, perhaps offers hope for the way forward across the whole pyramid.
Saints Community Project
Amidst the anger this week about the greed in the “beautiful game” it was refreshing to see a website called Footy.Com publish its alternative version of the game with six examples of the good things going on at grassroots clubs. It was lovely to see the Saints Community Project highlighted. Our club – in the community.
Following the successful Easter football camps, you can now find details of the June camps on the club website. These whole day sessions for 5-15 year olds, boys and girls, run from 1 – 4 June. They provide football coaching and soccer activities led by FA qualified coaches at reasonable prices with discounts for siblings. There are limited places at 30 per session BOOK HERE
The interior fit-out of the new clubhouse continues and this week has seen the bar area taking shape. Watch out for further news.
With games home and away against Corby Town and Kettering Town already in the pre-season diary, further games are being added with confirmation hopefully in place by next week.
Squad for 2021-22
Kevin is putting together his squad for the coming season with contract arrangements advanced in some cases. We will of course bring you first news of signings as this process now proceeds apace.
While some Covid restrictions are relaxed, please continue to follow the rules, take care and stay safe.