Rivals see red over Montana

By Danny Caro, February 2, 2012
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Montana's departure from the MSFL has sparked a furious reaction from some of their rivals. Several teams believe that a common sense approach should have been adopted in dealing with the aftermath.

Chigwell boss Richard Slater commented: "Why couldn't Montana have forfeited this Sunday, and then pulled out the following Monday? That way they'd have completed 75 per cent of their allocated games and we could've had a fair league and title run in.

"This was the most competitive title race for years, now it'll be won on default and makes you wonder what's been the point of the last five months."

Temple Fortune's Jack Morris said: "We worked so hard to pull away from the relegation fight, but now we've been drawn right back in. It doesn't seem right, especially as the rules state 75 per cent which is 13.5 games, and they've played 13. Why should the league round that figure up instead of down?"

As Norstar boss Phil Peters said, I think we should be looking at the reasons teams drop out of the league. He said: "It's becoming endemic and it's a major problem."

My view is this. All MSFL teams vote on rule changes every year, so the committee has to implement what they vote for and stick to them. Like it or not, rules are rules, although on this occasion, it's unfortunate just how many teams have been affected. Clearly, there is no simple solution and further discussions are needed to keep all parties happy.

So what is the answer to stop clubs folding? Neasden's Jonny Blain came up with this suggestion. "I think the MSFL should have a pool of players who are not regulars who can help out, especially kids at university who are not registered to any particular club," he said. "This would probably be an unpopular opinion, but we'd all rather play than have teams pull out or turn up with 10." The great debate rumbles on and there are some more interesting points on the topic on the JC website.

‚óŹ Transfer deadline day was as much of an anti-climax for Israel's leading footballers as it was in the Premier League. Toto Tamuz's proposed three-year deal to Monaco fell through after the French club refused to put in an escape clause allowing him to join a bigger club.

There was no real interest in Portsmouth's Tal Ben Haim, Manchester City's Gai Assulin or Cardiff's Dekel Keinan. One transaction that did go through was Gili Vermouth joining De Graafschap on loan from Kaiserslautern. Having failed to make an impact in the Bundesliga following his summer transfer from Hapoel Tel Aviv, Vermouth described his six months in Germany as "a nightmare".

    Last updated: 3:22pm, February 2 2012