U.C.L. Academicals Football Club

(The Accies)

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2000 UCL ACADEMICALS AGM

Held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 30th May at the UCLMS Clubhouse, Huntley Street.

Present: Danny McConnell, Mark Dawson, Steve Nash, Jon Davies, Jamie Pearson, Bobby Butlin, Simon Valentine.

Apologies for Absence: Ally Gammell, Adrian Haysome, Scott Atkinson, Charlie Robinson.

1.      CONSTITUTION

We believe that the club used to have a constitution but no longer does so. We are required (by the SOL) to have one, and need to have one anyway. The following rules were agreed:

a.       The Club shall be called “UCL Academicals FC”.

b.       Membership of the club will be restricted to those who have paid annual fees and social fees, at the agreed rates. Membership to run from 1st September to 30th August of the year concerned.

c.       The club AGM is to be held at the end of the playing season. 21 days notice to be given prior to the calling of the AGM. The date to be set by the club chairman.

d.       Any member of the club may call an emergency general meeting as long as it is seconded by four other members. 21 days notice must be given for an EGM.

e.       At least ten members of the club must be present at an AGM or EGM to be quorate.

f.        At the AGM elections to the club committee to be made. The posts of club chairman, honorary secretary, fixtures secretary, treasurer, statistician, referees secretary and team captains to be decided at the AGM.

g.       During the season the club committee to meet as and when required.

h.       All members of the club agree to abide by the club disciplinary code.

2.      DISCIPLINARY CODE

We also need to have a club disciplinary code, both because we are required to do by the SOL but for own internal purposed. It isn’t intended to cover the run-of-the-mill disciplinary cases, but to cover any major and serial offenders. A copy of the code follows:

DISCIPLINARY GUIDELINES

The Purpose of these Guidelines is to deal speedily with misconduct, reduce the number of offences by illustrating to the membership the seriousness with which disciplinary matters are viewed and to reduce the administration work involved.

Notes: These guidelines are intended to essentially deal with serious cases of misconduct, whether one-off dismissals or serial offenders collecting multiple cautions. The club is required by the AFA and SOL to have a disciplinary code of conduct and we need to have published guidelines for our own purposes to deal satisfactorily (and legally) with serious cases of misconduct. Whilst the more serious fines and suspensions may seem draconian, bear in mind they are for the most serious forms of misconduct. The fines are intended purely to recoup the fines we are likely, as a club, to pay to the AFA for reaching the Club mandatory fine stages which such misconduct makes likely.

PROCEDURE

a)         ALL misconduct cases, both "bookings" and "sendings-off," will be dealt with under this procedure.

b)         The Team Captain MUST report any booking or sending off recorded by the referee in any game to the Club Chairman within three days of the game.

c)         The Club Chairman shall decide whether to impose a fine or suspension on the player in accordance with the scale of fines and suspensions as set down by the Club Committee. If necessary the Club Chairman of Selectors will consult with the Team Captain, or any other Officer of the Club, to assess the level of fine or suspension.

d)         Any player wishing to appeal against the standard fine or suspension being imposed, or who wishes to appeal against the incident generally, MUST inform the Club Chairman of his wish to appeal within three days of the imposition of the fine or suspension.

e)         Where an appeal is requested the Club Chairman shall immediately appoint an Appeal Board to consider the case.

f)          The appointed Appeal Board shall consider the circumstances and decide whether to hold the full Appeal hearing immediately or whether to delay the Appeal Hearing until the referees report on the incident has been received from the AFA.

g)         Fines or suspensions imposed under this procedure, whether under the standard scale or whether decided by an Appeal Board, may be higher than, longer than or over and above any suspension or fine imposed by the AFA.

h)         An offending player who does not pay to the Club, when required, any fine imposed upon him either by the AFA or under this procedure shall not play for the Club again until such fine is fully paid.

i)          The Club Committee shall from time to time review the scale of suspensions and fines that shall be enforceable by the Club under these guidelines.

j)          The Club Chairman shall advise the Club Committee of all decisions made under this procedure in order that the action be ratified, if agreed with by the Club Committee.

DISCIPLINARY APPEAL BOARD

The Disciplinary Appeal Board shall consist of three members of the Club, being:

a)         The Club Chairman, who shall chair all meetings of the Appeal Board.

b)         Two other members of the Club Committee at the Club Chairman's discretion.

One of the three members present at each meeting MUST have been playing in or present at the match in which the offence took place, being the Captain on the day.

OPERATION

a)         The Board will deal with all offences referred to it by the Club Chairman.

b)         The Board will meet at the first available opportunity following the offence, although in some cases it may be advisable to wait for the receipt of the referee's report from the AFA. The Team Captain will advise the player to make himself available for the meeting.

c)         The meeting will take the following form:

            i)          The Captain on the day and the other player will give their accounts of the incident to the Board, who will discuss the incident in private.

            ii)         The offending player will then be invited before the Board to give his version of the incident, if he so wishes.

            iii)         The Board will further discuss the incident and reach their decision.

            iv)        The offending player will be advised of the Board decision, and any final observations will be made.

            The offending player will not be present at (i) and (iii). All the above proceedings shall be dealt with verbally, unless any of the members involved wish to submit written reports.

d)         The offending player will have the right of appeal to the Club Committee if he is dissatisfied with the Board's handling of the case.

CURRENT SCALE OF FINES/SUSPENSION APPLICABLE UNDER THE ABOVE GUIDELINES - under Paragraph (j) - (These include any fines imposed by the AFA unless otherwise stated)

Fines will be levied according to the number of disciplinary points accrued by the player under the AFA Disciplinary points system:

a)                  First Caution in a season, Second Caution in a season, Sendings Off carrying two disciplinary points (e.g. for two cautionable offences, for preventing an obvious goal-scoring opportunity):    

            Warning as to future conduct.

b)                  Third Caution in a season, Sendings Off carrying three disciplinary points (e.g. Use of Offensive, Insulting or Abusive language towards another player, Attempting to Kick or Strike another player, Serious Foul Play, Kicking or Striking another Player, spitting directed at an opponent or any other person, Attempting Head to Head butting, Butting other parts of the body):

£10 fine plus a Suspension - normally for one game.

c)         Fourth caution in a season, Sendings Off carrying four disciplinary points (e.g. Use of Offensive, Insulting or abusive language or gestures directed at Match Officials, Head to Head butting, Refusing to give name or giving a false name to the Referee when ordered to do so, Refusing to leave the Field of Play when ordered to do so, causing a match to be abandoned, Threatening Match Officials):

            £25 fine plus a Suspension until the end of the season.

d)         Sendings off carrying five disciplinary points (e.g. assaults on other players or match officials):

            £25 fine plus a Suspension for twelve months.

Please note that the above fine/suspension scales are only guidelines and in exceptional cases the punishment imposed could be higher or lower than these guidelines.

3. 1999-2000 REPORT

The 1999-2000 season was the most successful in the club’s history, with the 1st XI winning the AFA Senior Cup. Lower down the club things were not so successful, and amongst the lower three sides old age problems are starting to dawn.

Something we need to do better in the future is ensuring that players are playing at the right level for their abilities, particularly as certain players tend to get older. However painful it may be, it has to be accepted that as we get older we may not be able to continue playing at as high a level as we used to, and may need to move down sides to continue enjoying a competitive game.

Last season probably saw more new members join the club than any recent season, and it’s a trend we need to continue, particularly with graduates from UCL. The more consistent a team’s lineup the better their results are likely to be.

1st XI – The 1st XI’s season was by far the most successful in the club’s history. An anticipated season of consolidation in Senior One turned into a major trophy hunt. The AFA Senior Cup was won on penalties, whilst we remained strongly in the hunt for Senior One until late March, finishing third and also reached the quarter finals of the SOL Senior Cup. Much credit should be given to Steve Nash and Lee Pessall, and with the current squad there is no reason not to anticipate further success in the next few years.

2nd XI – The 2nd XI also had a strong season, though tended to fall short in the really big games, finishing third in Intermediate Two and the disappointment of a semi-final loss in the SOL Cup. With a more consistent squad than in recent years results have reflected this, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t be pushing for promotion next season. If the club is strong enough to have a 1st XI at the top of Senior One we ought to have a 2nd XI strong enough for Intermediate One.

3rd XI – The 3rd XI finished comfortably mid-table in Intermediate Three, despite the loss of a couple of regulars over the last few seasons. Age is beginning to show for the side, and the continued reluctance to take more than eleven players on a Saturday is a major concern. This attitude cost them a league title last year, and points again this season. Every other side is happy to take twelve or thirteen players each week, rotating substitutes, which then covers for last minute pull-outs, injuries and traffic problems.

4th XI – The 4th XI endured a frustrating season, entering a post-Christmas nose-dive from which they never emerged, finishing tenth in Junior 1 North. Confidence took a major blow, and there does seem to have been an over-reaction to the poor season after their successful season the year before. That said, the 4ths do have a problem with aging players, and injuries and inevitable family commitments could be pinpointed as the main causes. With an influx of younger players there is no reason why the 4ths shouldn’t be able to rebuild for next season.

5th XI – A season very similar to the 4ths, with a post-Christmas nose-dive leaving them ninth in Junior 2 North. No obvious reasons are apparent, though availability didn’t seem to be as good as in previous seasons, but the fifths see no reason why this should be repeated next season.

6th XI – Light at the end of the tunnel. Despite finishing 7th in Junior 3 North the heavily rebuilt sixths are showing signs of finally rebuilding. A side whose league record in the previous three years read Won 10, Drew 10, Lost 32 and whose spine have essentially retired over the last two years (only three regulars from 1997-98 are still playing regularly now) have been significantly rebuilt, particularly towards the end of the season. A settled side, and younger members keen to play regularly ought to compete for trophies next season. Quite a few of the newer members should also be capable of moving up to higher sides as required.

Optimists – 1999-2000 saw the debut of the Accies Veterans side, who played one Sunday and three Saturday friendlies, though a first win is still awaited. Next season the number of games will probably increase and we’ll probably enter the SOL Veterans Cup.

Golden Boot – The Golden Boot competition proved to be a big success, and was deservedly won by Scott Atkinson from the 3rds (though appearances for the 4ths towards the end of the season showed how keen he was). Gareth Jones (1sts) and Adam Izzard (4ths) ran him close, though Gareth’s season was curtailed by a season ending injury in the AFA Cup Final. The addition of an unofficial “Golden Gloves” award for goalkeepers was widely applauded by the Hon.Fixture Secretary and Hon.Secretary, who co-incidentally finished first and third! The golden boot should be continued.

4. FINANCIAL STATEMENT

At the end of last season our account stood at around £1500.00, having purchased six new kits for all existing sides. Our objective for this season was to continue to build up the club’s resources. One major concern looming was that we needed to be able to pre-pay for pitches to avoid payment of VAT, whereas in the past we’d always (by necessity) paid in arrears.

For 1999-2000 our turnover was £12757.31, comprised of £1804.50 in annual subs, £10667.00 in match subs, £80.00 in preseason match subs, £10.81 in bank interest, £58.00 in AFA fines collected and £137.00 subs in arrears from previous seasons. We are still owed around £500.00 in subs.

We spent £6000.00 on pitches, £333.00 on training facilities (subsidising Swiss Cottage to the tune of around £15.00 to £20.00 per week, paying £40.00 overall but collecting £2.00 from each participant), £1263.00 on referees, £2256.30 on teas (of which £300.00 was “extra hospitality, jugs and so forth”) and hospitality, £634.00 on league fees, £159.00 on fines and £280.75 on kit and equipment.

Annual subs included an extra £200.00 from the veterans (a team annual subs, and we currently “owe” them a new kit, which cost around £400), so effectively annual subs income from 1999-2000 was around £300.00 lower than the previous season. This £300.00 is very simply accounted for; 60 members took advantage of the “£25.00 annual subs, but £20.00 if paid before 1st November” offer and saved themselves £5.00. This scheme drastically reduced the amount of effort required by captains to raise annual subs.

Match subs showed a significant increase from last season, from £8672.00 to £10667.00. However we played significantly more games, 149 compared to 124. This was partly due to the 4ths, 5ths and 6ths all playing more league games, partly down to four veterans games and partly down to longer cup runs (nine more cup fixtures in 1999-2000). Our per-game income in match subs was £69.94 in 1998-99, and £71.59 in 1999-2000. By team these break down to 1sts: £73.76, 2nds: £73.32, 3rds: £64.93, 4ths: £68.58, 5ths: £75.33, 6ths: £71.79, Vets: £78.88.

Pitch costs were up £1250.00 (sixteen more home games than in 1998-99), referees up £230.00 and teas costs £850.00. Essentially most of the increased match subs were offset by the extra costs of playing more home games. Once again we played more games at home than away, partly because of fewer cancellations at Shenley, mostly because of cup draws.

At the end of the season we had £3400.00 in the bank, though £400.00 was reserved to buy a kit for the veterans, so our surplus for the season was effectively around £1500.00.

Projection for 2000-01

Given all of the above we should start 2000-01 with around £3400.00 in the bank, of which £400.00 has already been allocated to buy a kit for the veterans. Of the remaining £3000.00 around £800.00 is to be spent on league fees. In addition pitch costs at Shenley for next season will rise from £75.00 to £80.00, and referees costs from £16.00 to £18.00. UCL have proposed increasing teas from £25.00 to £30.00, a rise we consider very steep for one season. We shall request that teas costs for next season only increase to £2.50. This will add £9.50 to the cost of a home game, or assuming 70 home games around £700.00 over the season.

In addition from next season we will have to pre-pay for pitches, to avoid payment of VAT. The rules on VAT for pitches are fairly straightforward – if a club pre-pays for block-booked pitches then VAT is not due, payment in arrears is VAT liable. In the past we’ve paid in arrears and not paid VAT, which could easily land us with a major bill for VAT. I’ve therefore agreed with UCL that we’ll pre-pay for pitches twice a season, in September and December (to spread the costs). In each case we’ll need to find enough money for 35 pitches, or £2800.00.

This illustrates quite clearly that we need to have a reasonably significant reserve of funds in our account at the start of the season. Whereas in the past the Accies have always run on the bread-line (start the season with nothing, end the season with nothing) we actually need to lay our hands on £2800.00 for pitches, £800.00 for league fees. Plus any money for kit replacement and other equipment (balls, etc) before the season starts. At last year’s AGM  we agreed that £4000.00 ought to be a minimum target, and I think £5000.00 is more realistic. That allows us to comfortably pay for everything up front and still have around £1000.00 in the bank.

In addition we need to consider kit in the future. Whilst currently are kits are all relatively new and need little repairing or replacement by 2003 or 2004 we will probably need to replace all of our kits. To this end we should aim to “set aside” £500.00 each season for kits, so that come 2004 or whenever we already have £2500.00 in the bank allocated to “kit purchasing”. Ideally we’d be looking to replace one kit every season, but given that all existing kits were purchased at the same time this isn’t practical. Therefore we should consider £500.00 each season as being set aside for kit.

Bearing these factors in mind our effective current balance is around £2500.00, whereas £5000.00 ought to be a longer term target. We should therefore aim to maintain the current financial regime for next season:- £7.00 match fees, halved for students, annual subs £25.00 if playing ten or more games (£20.00 if paid by 1st November) and £10.00 “social subs” if playing four or more games, with a £100.00 team annual subs for the vets (essentially paying for membership for ten players at social subs rates). Annual subs for students and unemployed to be waived. This should then hopefully make a surplus of around £1000.00 to increase the effective float, and set aside a further £500.00 for future kit purchases. Allocations of money for training (around £300.00), hospitality (£300.00) and kit (£300.00) should remain unchanged.

5. SUBSCRIPTION ARREARS

One continuing problem, albeit much less dramatic than in the past, is that of subscription arrears. The early payment discount and thresholds for annual subs have made collection of match subs much more efficient and much less hassle for captains. There does remain a problem with match-fees.

The simple problem with match-fees is that certain people, a minority, seem to expect to turn up and play without any money on them. This creates extra administration work for the captain and myself, for no sensible reason whatsoever. All too often the season ends without subs being paid up, and we spend further time chasing them up. In the past I have no doubts that many of them weren’t paid, and it can be confidently said that the reason subs had to increase last season was because many people regularly avoided paying match subs.

This season has showed the two different attitudes in operation. Arrears from the 1sts, 2nds and 6ths were rare, and promptly paid. The 3rds, 4ths and 5ths were much more lax, and it’s from these sides that the bulk of money owed, and work created originate. Speaking personally I’m getting pretty tired of the amount of time I waste logging all of these debts, which I see as unnecessary. We can’t afford to not track them but I don’t see why people should turn up and not pay. I know captains concerned find it awkward and extra work – hassling people for money is embarrassing, and it’s something people take advantage of. Captains do quite enough already.

For next season the following were agreed: match fees will be £7.00 on the day but £8.00 if paid in arrears. If you can’t be bothered to pay on time then you should pay more for the hassle caused. If you do inadvertently forget to bring any subs then there’s no reason not to borrow £7.00 from a team-mate – this will reduce the club admin and make things significantly easier for captains. And if you can’t find a team-mate who’ll lend you the money then it probably illustrates the point about being sure of repayment.

The thresholds for preventing players playing if they owe subs were also reduced. If any player owes two or more match-fees, or any AFA fine then they will be ineligible for selection until the backlog is paid (a cheque can always be posted, and “I’ll pay you next Saturday, promise” will not be acceptable.

6. ELECTION OF OFFICERS

The following elections were made:

Hon.Secretary/Chairman: Danny McConnell, Hon.Fixtures.Sec: Mark Dawson, Treasurer: Adrian Haysome, Statistician: Bobby Butlin, Referees Secretary: Mark Dawson/Danny McConnell. 1st XI Captain and Vice Captain: Steve Nash and Martin Woodrow. 2nd XI Captain and Vice Captain: Jon Davies and Steve Woodrow. 3rd XI Captain and Vice Captain: Jamie Pearson and Ally Gammell. 4th XI Captain and Vice Captain TBA and Simon Valentine. 5th XI Captain and Vice Captain: Bobby Butlin and Mark Hanlon. 6th XI Captain and Vice Captain: Danny McConnell and Charlie Robinson. Vets XI: Paul Matthewson and Carl Kemp.

There is some concern with the 4th XI. Their season was undoubtably disappointing, and the backlog of subs a concern. The team lost quite a few of their regulars before or during the season, and we need to get a number of new regulars playing for them next season, as well as hopefully a few returnees. At present no captain has been found, but if necessary Danny will begin the season by running the 4ths and 6ths from one squad, until a settled side for the 4ths has been sorted out.

7. CONTACTS WITH UCL

We are optimistic that next season should see a greater influx of students from UCL, which ought to be our lifeblood. We attended their AGM this year (and bribed them with free beer) and work by Steve Murden, Stuart Bannister, Spencer Gore and others, all recent graduates will hopefully bring through more. Terry Foster, about to take finals, has already played for the 1sts in a number of games during injury crises.

8. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Pre-season “training” will begin on Wednesday 6th August, 7pm to 9pm and continue until on Wednesdays until the start of the season.

We were allocated two tickets for this year’s FA Cup Final by the AFA. Adrian Haysome attended to watch “The Villa” in their first Wembley final for 43 years.