U.C.L. Academicals Football Club

(The Accies)

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2005 UCL ACADEMICALS AGM

Held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th June at Fiduciary Trust International / Franklin Templeton, The Adelphi Building, 1-11 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6HT

Present: Danny McConnell, Mark Dawson, Graham Whitworth, Phil Stewart, Mark Emmerson, Dave Swaby, Chris Carter, Derek Fowler, Rob James, Chris Coates.

Apologies for absence: Martin Woodrow, Adrian Haysome, Danny Fewkes, Mark McGuigan, Dan Willoughby, Jon Houghton, Spencer Gore, Phil Hardem, Sam Samra, Steve Woodrow, Bobby Butlin.

Minutes of the 2004 AGM

The minutes of the 2004 AGM were approved.

Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

2004-05 Secretary’s Report

2004-05 saw the club win two trophies, with a number of “near misses” – the 2nd XI won the LOB Intermediate Cup, breaking a run of three successive cup final defeats, and the 3rd XI retained the LOB Junior Cup. The 1st XI finished second in the AFC Premier, whilst the 2nd XI, 3rd XI, 4th XI, 5th XI and 7th XI all finished third.

The most disappointing part of the season had to be the final stretch. Of the club’s 47 defeats (compared to 106 wins and 21 draws) probably half came from the middle of March onwards. The 1sts, 4ths and 7ths all lost league titles during that stretch – and there was a distinct sense amongst other sides (and some of those) that if people couldn’t win a league title, they weren’t too bothered about playing at all.

The second club-wide pattern was a lack of defenders. We seem to have an abundance of attacking players (quality or otherwise) but a relative dearth of those willing/able to play at the back has meant some skippers having to be more persuasive with certain players and plugging square pegs into round holes.

Recent administrative problems have continued. Too many club members needed to be chased for discipline paperwork, and the difficulty of collecting subs and keeping on top of them has meant for the third season the Treasurer has resigned at the end of the year.

1st XI – Once again the 1st XI season finished in anti-climax, this one worse than past years. Quite simply, we’ve got to beat Old Meadonians. There’s still a tendency amongst some for “finger pointing”, which may prey on the confidence of some players, but the simple fact is that we’re good enough, we just haven’t yet beaten Meads. Three times we played them, and three times we lost 3-2. One win in any of those would have meant a trophy, because there’s little doubt we’re one of the two strongest sides in the AFA. We just need that win.

Mark McGuigan taking over as manager was definitely a positive step, allowing the players to focus on playing, and giving scope for tactical adjustments which made differences in a number of games. Slightly worrying was the lack of focus and direction in his absence – the necessity for tactical changes being conveyed 3000 miles away from Miami midway through a cup final was “interesting”.

2nd XI – Another year, another bogey laid. Having finally won a title last year the 2nds broke their streak of Cup Final losses with a smash-and-grab job against Albanian in the LOB Intermediate Cup. If anything, the league record was even more impressive, 20 games, 45 points yet was only good enough for third place.

The team remains young (mostly) and should continue to hold its own at Senior Level as well as providing replacement players for the 1st XI if required.

3rd XI – A Jeckell and Hyde season. Is the real 3rd XI the team who swept all before them up until Christmas, or the side that limped home after Christmas, albeit winning the LOB Junior Cup in the process. One suspects a mixture of the two – defensively it was a continual battle to find players to fill a back four, and it may be that the side has reached its level in the Intermediate Divisions. Nonetheless, until May they were pushing for promotion, and with a couple more players the side should continue to be strong next season.

4th XI – Once again the 4ths over-achieved, clinching promotion via third place on the final day of the season. Once again they also lost in the semis of the AFA Minor Cup, albeit with a much better performance than last season.

The nucleus of the team is small, and definitely needs a number of additions, and it’ll be a major challenge for a 4th XI to hold its own in 1 North – that Dan Willoughby is continuing as captain is a major positive for the side.

5th XI – Overall a season of “not quite enough”. The side never really threatened to challenge in the league, and got heartily thumped in both cups by opposition who shouldn’t have. Too often the team were petulant and unpleasant towards opponents (a trend noted in reports to the league) and threw away games because we were too busy arguing and not playing football. Rob James steps down as skipper for next season to be replaced by Chris Coates.

6th XI – By far the most difficult season of any league side. At Christmas one player, Jeff Mensah, was expelled from the club (having been sent off twice in his first ten games, and refused to pay his fines) and at the same time Chris Phillips, who seemed determined to try and form a mini-club of his own within the Accies, left “by mutual consent”. Bobby Butlin, who’d hoped to step down as skipper during the season stepped back into the breach, but finally retires after ten years (at least) as skipper to be replaced by Chris Carter and Dave Swaby.

Amidst the turmoil the sixths struggled, with a few legs getting rather old and a few younger ones needed. Hopefully next year should see the side turn the corner.

7th XI – A season that promised much sadly fizzled out into disappointment, with a third place in the league and losses in cup semi and quarter finals. Overall, the season has to be considered a success, but there was still a reliance on one or two key players and the team needs to get away from such a dependency.

After two years as skipper, Spencer Gore steps down to be replaced by Phil Harden.

Optimists – A season that marked a step (or two) backwards. For the first year it was decided to play solely on Sunday mornings, and whilst this did tend to produce better availability from the “non-regulars”, the availability of the regulars plummeted. This didn’t seem to be related to the Sunday morning switch, simply that many of them stopped playing, and many of the older players amongst the league sides continued to play league football.

“Talking the talk” and “walking the walk” remains an issue for the Vets – too many people say they are going to play when fixtures are arranged, but when the time comes aren’t about. It means a vicious circle – we keep cancelling games, so opposition are wary of arranging games with us, so quality of fixtures isn’t high, etc. If Ian Christopherson is going to manage to keep the Vets going next season commitment needs to be better, and if it isn’t, then I’m afraid the Vets may fold.

Golden Boot – The Golden Boot was won by Scott Atkinson (26 goals), who also bagged his 300th goal for the Accies during the season. Paul Bernard and Max Lovell ran him close, whilst Mark Dawson and Tom Lloyd tied for the Golden Gloves.

It was suggested that the comment on the 4th XI over-achieving may have been a little harsh.

Selection Policies

Continuity of selection and general selection policies was also discussed, and the general feeling was that for players to consider themselves as “regulars” they ought to now be available for 75% of games (90% for goalkeepers). A “regular” can expect a game when he is available, and if a player is not available for 75% of games then he shouldn’t expect to be guaranteed a game, although of course we will fit in “occasionals” where possible.

It was agreed that players who were absent one week should generally expect to return the following week and occupy a substitute slot – this was common practice for many teams already and would further encourage regular availability (which is essential for the club to continue to be successful on the field). It was also agreed that players who dropped out of games late in the week without adequate reason shouldn’t be tolerated.

 

4. FINANCIAL STATEMENT

At start of the season the clubs coffers contained around £4600. At the end of the season our balance stood at about £5300, although some monies were still outstanding from captains, and around £750 owed by players, with a number of people still being due to pay annual subs.

It was agreed that next season we should make a major effort to clear these backlogs, and to ensure that they did not continue to build in the future. The treasurer would be in regular contact with the captains to ensure both that they did not allow players to build backlogs of subs, and that they paid over subs collected regularly. We should also emphasise to captains the need to lay out team sheets clearly to ease the Treasurer’s job.

The new Treasurer also needs to sort out the signatories of the account and obtain access to the account via Internet Banking.

We should impose the club rule that any person owing three or more match fees (i.e. £24) should not be selected.

Our target should still be to have £6000+ in the bank at the end of the season, which would enable us to have enough funds to pay for affiliation fees (around £1000), pre-Christmas pitches at Shenley (£4500) and still have around £1000 to cover kit, balls, etc. All of these bills are basically due before we kick a ball (and collect a penny).

Des Fowler was thanked for his significant efforts in sorting out the club finances.

 

5. SUBSCRIPTIONS

Pitch and teas costs for 2005-06 would be unchanged (Shenley had agreed the prices for two seasons when they increased in summer 2004) although referees fees would rise from £22 to £25 (likely to mean an overall increase in costs of £300). It was agreed that subscriptions should not change – our surplus last season was £700 (probably higher if we didn’t allow so many people to build up backlogs).

 

6. CLUB RULES

6a. Discipline Code

In 2003-04 the Accies reached AFA Stage 1 for the first time, accumulating 42 disciplinary points (1 for a caution, etc). Despite the AFA increasing the thresholds for 2004-05 (Stage 1 increased from 39 to 44 points) we passed it again (with 45 points – generating a £45 fine), though it ought to be noted that county-wide the number of cautions increased by around 20% because of a change in system which made it easier for officials to report cautions.

At the 2004 AGM the discipline code has been discussed and it was agreed that the whole discipline code needed to be considered and revised at the 2005 AGM.

Traditionally, and hopefully this will continue, AFA football is, if not unique, notable for its sportsmanship. There should be a respect for the opposition, and the officials – without both we have no game, and whilst this doesn’t mean games can’t be competitive, and doesn’t mean we shouldn’t aim to win, there should be an understanding that it’s only a game of football, and we’ve all got to work on Monday morning.

Our discipline code is the most basic statement of what standards the club expects, both from ourselves and from our opponents. Whilst our opponents are not bound by it, it does lay down what we consider to be acceptable behaviour, and we cannot complain about poor standards from our opposition if we do not hold our own people to the same standards.

There is one further consideration – the AFC is looking at whether to impose points deductions on clubs who reach the higher AFA Stages (probably only stage 3, but possibly stage 2) – we don’t want at some point down the line to see a side denied a league title because of indiscipline.

In 2004-05 our 45 points were accumulated as follows:-

Cautions for Dissent (1 point each)                                                                -             10

Other Cautions (1 point each)                                                                            -            27

Dismissals for Two Cautions (1 point)                                                                        -            2

Dismissals for Serious Foul Play/Attempting to Strike and Opponent (3 points)  -            2

Of these points, 18 were accumulated by the 1st XI (nine cautions shared by two players, although one to his credit figured out it was a fools game, and having picked up four by the end of October, didn’t pick up a single further caution – an object lesson for all!), 6 by the 2nd XI, 4 by the 3rd XI, 11 by the 4th XI, 2 by the 5th XI and 4 by the 6th XI.

In addition, three other sendings off were not reported to the AFA, and one incident of “continuing action” (players fighting after they’d been sent off) was also not reported, which would have added a further 14 points to the total (59), and taken us close to stage 2 (64 points).

Many of these cases can be put down to “part and parcel of football” – the “other cautions” and dismissals arising for two cautions are generally an occupational hazard. Equally, the club has more chance than some of accumulating disciplinary points because we see more league referees. Nevertheless, the problems of the 1st, 4th and 6th (most of which wasn’t reported to the AFA) stand out as do the ten cautions for dissent, and the two dismissals for more serious elements.

Dissent is an ongoing issue, and multi-faceted. It antagonises the opposition, and we’ve had cases in the past where it’s likely that Accies dissent has led to something more serious (often involving one of us suffering) – plenty of our opposition won’t react to being shouted at by shouting back, they’ll try and put us in hospital – Old Danes in the Premier this season was a likely example. In addition, it winds up referees. It is worth noting that almost 50% of football matches in England every weekend are played without a qualified referee.

It was agreed that our code should deal with offences as they happen, and not be dependent on whether they are reported to the AFA. We shouldn’t be trying to hide behind procedures (which a few players seem to think we should – discipline is about dealing with what happens, not trying to cover it up afterwards) and club punishments should be applied regardless.

There is one major proviso – the club must believe the punishment was justified. If a caution/sending off was justified, then the club should ensure it is punished accordingly, even if the player concerned doesn’t agree – however, if we think the caution/sending off was wrong, we should fight it all the way.

There was a good deal of discussion on the various category of offences, and it was agreed after a vote (4 to 3, with 2 abstentions), that no differentiation should be made between Senior and non-Senior football, as originally proposed. A vote was also taken (agreed 5 to 4) on levying an extra fine for dissent. The new discipline code follows.

UCL Academicals - Proposed New Discipline Code Agreed at the 2005 AGM

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 immediately after the game.

c)      The Club Chairman shall decide within three days 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 (except for immediate fines, which should be collected after the match). If necessary the Club Chairman 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.

 

SCALE OF FINES/SUSPENSION APPLICABLE UNDER THE ABOVE GUIDELINES

Under Paragraph (j) - (These do not include any fines imposed by the AFA unless otherwise stated). These penalties shall be imposed regardless of whether the case concerned is reported to the AFA.

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

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

£10 fine paid immediately after the game (if a caution is processed by the AFA, the £8 fee is paid out of the £10). An extra £5 shall be fined for dissent.

b)      Third or further cautions in a season:-

£20 fine paid immediately after the game (if a caution is processed by the AFA, the £8 fee is paid out of the £10). An extra £5 shall be fined for dissent.

Note that a fifth caution also receives an automatic 7-day ban from the AFA.

c)      Sendings Off carrying two disciplinary points (e.g. for two cautionable offences, for preventing an obvious goal-scoring opportunity):-

£10 fine to be paid immediately after the game in addition to any AFA ban/fine (typically 7 days/£15).

d)      Offences carrying three disciplinary points (e.g. Attempting to Kick or Strike another Player, Serious Foul Play):-

£20 fine paid immediately after the game in addition to any AFA ban/fine (typically 21 days/£15).

e)      Offences carrying four disciplinary points (e.g. Kicking or Striking another Player, Head to Head Contact, Use of Offensive Language or Gestures directed at a match official):-

      £20 fine paid immediately after the game plus a two game Suspension.

f)       Offences carrying five or more disciplinary points (e.g. Violent 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), or any second offence carrying four disciplinary points, or any person found guilty of serious misconduct:-     

£25 fine plus an immediate Sine Die Suspension (at least until the end of the season, case to be reviewed at the AGM).

6b. Changes to Rules

The following amended club rules were agreed. We now define who may become members of the Accies (final paragraph, rule 2). Essentially this is what we already do – the Accies are “semi closed” in that all players join via introduction, either from UCL or from existing Accies, as well as rule 12, which allows us to suspend and expel a member from the club if required. Sadly, this had to be done this year, for the first time ever, and whilst I hope we don’t have to do it again, we should cover the bases.

UCL Academicals - Club Rules – Proposed Changes to Rules to be considered at the 2005 AGM

  1. The Club shall be called “UCL Academicals FC” and shall be affiliated to the Amateur Football Alliance.

The Club shall be governed in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Football Association and the Amateur Football Alliance.

  1. Membership of the club will be restricted to those who have paid annual fees and social fees, at the agreed rates, as well as Veterans who have played at least four games paying Veterans match fees.

Membership shall run from 1st September to 30th August of the year concerned. Membership fees and match subscriptions shall be set at the AGM.

A full membership fee shall be set for members who play ten or more games. A social membership fee shall only be payable by members who play four or more games.

New members shall only be accepted if they are current/past staff/students of University College London, or if proposed and seconded by an existing club member.

  1. The club AGM shall be held at the end of the playing season. 21 days notice shall be given prior to the calling of the AGM by the Hon. Sec.

At this meeting the following business shall be transacted:

(i)     To receive and confirm the Minutes of the preceding Annual General Meeting.

(ii)    To consider any business arising therefrom.

(iii)  To receive and adopt the Secretary’s Annual Report.

(iv)  To receive and adopt the Statement of Accounts and Balance Sheet.

(v)   Alteration of Rules, if any (of which notice has been given).

(vi)  Election of Officers.

(vii)Any other business of which due notice shall have been given and accepted as being relevant to an Annual General Meeting.

A copy of the duly audited Statement of Accounts, Balance Sheet and Agenda shall be forwarded to each Member at least fourteen days prior to the meeting.

  1. Any member of the club may call an emergency general meeting at any time by submitting a written request to the Secretary, seconded by four other members. 21 days notice must be given for an EGM.

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

  3. Any amendment to a Club rule can only be made at an AGM, or EGM called for that purpose. Any such amendment must be notified, in writing, to the Secretary, at least 14 days prior to the meeting concerned.

A proposal to change a Rule shall be carried if a two-thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote are in favour

7.       The club officers shall consist of: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Fixture Secretary, Social Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Referees Secretary and Team Captains. All shall be elected at the AGM.

Retiring Officers shall be eligible to become candidates for re-election without nomination. All other candidates for election as Officers shall be nominated to the Secretary in writing, at least fourteen days before the AGM, or by nomination by the Committee.

Where no nomination is received prior to the AGM then nominations may be taken from the floor.

  1. During the season the club committee shall meet as and when required.

Upon receiving a request signed by at least six Members of the club the Secretary shall convene a meeting of the Committee.

  1. No member of the Committee shall, or shall be entitled to, receive any remuneration or honoraria for work done or services rendered for or on behalf of the Club.

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

  3. Any member who is in debt to the club by an amount of three or more match fees shall be disbarred from playing.

  4. Any member who is guilty of serious misconduct may be suspended with immediate effect pending a disciplinary hearing set up under the club disciplinary code. Such a hearing shall be held as quickly as possible, and certainly within 14 days of the suspension.

 

 

7. ELECTION OF OFFICERS

The following were all duly elected:

Chairman – Danny McConnell

Vice Chairman – Mark Dawson

Treasurer – Mark Emmerson

Secretary – Danny McConnell

Fixture Secretary – Mark Dawson

Social Secretary – vacant

Referees Secretary – Mark Dawson/Danny McConnell

1st XI Captain/Manager – Mark McGuigan

2nd XI Captain/Manager – Danny Fewkes

3rd XI Captain/Manager – Phil Stewart

4th XI Captain/Manager – Dan Willoughby

5th XI Captain/Manager – Chris Coates

6th XI Captain/Manager – Dave Swaby

7th XI Captain/Manager – Phil Harden

Veterans XI Captain – Ian Christopherson

It was also noted that Steve Woodrow had been elected as a Club Representative on the AFC.

8a. CONTACTS WITH UCL

The continuing influx of ex-UCL players is good, but needs to be continued and improved, and the onus inevitably falls on the youngest members. We do get our pitches at a significantly reduced rate because we’re a UCL Alumni club, and we ought to do our best to maximise the number of UCL students coming through to join the club.

It was agreed to produce a flier to be handed out to students towards the end of the UCL football season.

 

8b. TRAINING/PRE-SEASON

Danny Fewkes is investigating whether Southwark Park is suitable for training. It was agreed that all training should be open to all members of the club, and to remove the 1sts-3rds, 4ths-7ths differentiation. Until we have a situation where we feel we have too many people we shouldn’t worry about it, and getting all sides involved should enhance the club atmosphere.

A training subscription of £5 would still be charged.

 

9. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

It was agreed to ask Shenley whether Sky TV was a viable option. It was considered that if the Saturday evening Sky game was on at the club-house people might stay longer, which may or may not be more attractive for the college.

 

There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.05pm.