I dont usually share my views here but to be brutally honest I think it’s a disgrace and I believe that Lions as a club should be embarrassed of themselves.
It is a club which has monopolised Jewish Football in relation to the number of players that it has on its books and it professes to being the biggest club in Jewish football. They have an A, B and C side as well as youth teams and on that basis should be able to put six sides out every Sunday, not just three (and now only two). Are you really telling me that players from the C team cannot step up into the B team…surely that’s how a club is run.
I feel that the club has lost its direction as due to the number of players on its books, it has a responsibility to Jewish football. Other clubs have folded as a result of players leaving to play for Lions, a consequence of which, is that Jewish football is in a poorer state than in the past.
In my opinion, the club’s priority is its Saturday side which has been extremely successful. However, I know from my own personal experience that their Saturday side has had an adverse effect on the MSFL. For years, my players at Neasden have made up the majority of their Saturday side which has made it difficult for them to play for Neasden on a Sunday due to injury or tiredness. These players did not come through the Lions youth setup and have always been at Neasden first and coaxed away with the promise of better facilities and a better quality of football. In the past Lions even sought to ban their players from playing for Neasden on a Sunday or any other MSFL club that they are affiliated to.
Another issue that has resulted in the dilution of quality of the MSFL is that Maccabi has changed the qualifying criteria for the European Maccabi Games. In the past, you had to have played 75% over 2 years for an MSFL side whereas now you can play for Lions Saturday side. Therefore, the squad that has been picked for the Euro’s is akin to a Maccabiah side which was historically made up of Wingate players. In the past, MSFL players were given the opportunity to play in a fantastic tournament however, now the MSFL players will not have that chance. Furthermore, the best Jewish players played in the MSFL so as to qualify for the Euro’s but now they don’t have to, again affecting the quality of the MSFL.
I am just shocked that a club the size of Lions can’t raise a team. Due to its size, it has a duty to assist the betterment of Jewish football ie. the MSFL but in my opinion they are in breach of that duty.