Rules are rules - according to the MSFL's super-clubs

By Danny Caro, July 29, 2010

I have a great deal of sympathy for the single-team clubs who tried but ultimately failed to change a rule that clearly favours the JC MSFL big boys.

Neal Cohen, manager of Zig Zag, has long been campaigning to ensure that clubs with more than one team do not have an advantage by dropping down some of their top players during the course of the season.

The current rule 8(j) stipulates that 'where a club fields more than one team in differing divisions, the team or teams from the lower division(s) may consist of no more than one player who played any part in the previous match of a team in the higher division'.

Cohen attempted to get the rule changed to no players from a higher team would be allowed to drop down a division, but the odds were stacked against him as the multi-team clubs turned out in force. Several clubs had three representatives while some of the single clubs did not even attend.

To his credit, Cohen had a plan B, and it almost came off. The rule continues: 'Once a player has played 12 games or more for a higher division team, he shall be unable to play for a lower division team'. Cohen wanted the rule changed to six games. Again, his appeal fell on deaf ears but he remains determined to help fight the corner of the minnows. Cohen said: "The vote to lessen the immoral advantage these clubs have was lost 25 to 33. That means that nearly half the attendees want something done about this situation which is totally unfair."

The multi-team club scenario has long been a thorn in my side. I've lost count of the times that I've played against or heard about one of the league's top stars winning a match virtually single-handedly. This scenario often contributes to some bizarre results, but looking at the bigger picture, it can also effects promotion and relegation issues.

The bigger clubs argue that the players who have fallen into this category over the years are coming back from injury. That is fair enough, but it's clear some have also done it to gain an unfair advantage in an important match. The plot thickens as it has been known for players from an A team, whose match has been postponed on a Sunday morning, have dropped down at the expense of a lower team player.

It's clear that multi-club teams have a strong influence on league rules. Going forward, I would like to propose a new rule where by all league clubs can have no more than two representatives, thus making it fairer to the single teams.

Another proposed rule change that was rejected was one to increase match fees for referees from £30 to £35. The vote was followed by whispers that several officials could pull out.

● It appears that North West Neasden will leave no stone unturned in their bid for world domination. Having won league and cup doubles for the last three seasons, manager Jamie Cole has upped the ante again, adding striker Robert Lerner to his squad following a season at Brady Maccabi. The acquisition of Lerner follows that of Paul Lenchner, Richard Baum, Jake Furman, Sam Sloma, George Fierstone, Elliot Greene and Lee Platt. Cole said: "Rob's signature will help us build a squad that will compete on all levels. Last year, we suffered in the non-Jewish competitions because we had a small squad. That will not happen this year."

● North London Raiders A have made their intentions clear by signing Team GB goalkeeper Danny Berliner from Premier Division rivals Hendon United A.

● Jim Gatting, son of former England captain Mike, is certainly a chip off the old block. Aged 24, he scored his third century of the season, smashing the London Maccabi Vale attack to all parts of the Paulin Ground on Sunday.

Having reached 108, it took a smart catch just inside the rope by yours truly off the bowling off young Josh Lew to send him back to the pavilion.

Last updated: 1:35pm, July 29 2010