The Great MSFL Debate

Location: Pinner
Joined: 07/04/2008
Status: Offline

Posted on: Fri, 02/05/2010 - 15:46

This is an intrinsic problem that has been in existence for years, is nothing new and is not exclusive to the MSFL.

It is serious in the sense that unless actions are taken swiftly, it is only a matter of time before we see further damaging impact.

Let's not forget the recent demise of the Manchester and AJY Leagues and the strains that applied to the youth section in the south. I believe that the cricket circuit is experiencing the same dilemma right now too.

The system used to be supported by an active Youth Club movement where so many had football teams as by-products. These movements unfortunately appear to not have the same attraction as they once did, hence the knock on effect.

What I fail to understand is that if the 'community' wants to be a community, then it has to acknowledge the core route of the issue and deal with it accordingly.

Regardless of history or the reasons, MGB now plays the sole custodian role in all aspects of jewish sport and should be at the centre in solving the issues.

The new MGBPFL youth league, from what I gather, is filling the gap in the market that it was intended but will have limitations on the number of participants it attracts.

At the time of the debate of how this should be constructed, I raised with senior Maccabi officials the idea that if there was a desire to rectify the wider problem it should start at the bottom and work and up along with the top working down, meeting in the middle.

Simply, if all three leagues were in broad terms rolled into one where you had a Maccabi Youth League, a Maccabi Adult League and a Maccabi Masters League with all working to the same distinct brief and in conjunction with each other, there would be a much greater chance of establishing a product that was appealing to the majority and more importantly would give a much greater chance of growth and longevity.

Why in the main, MSFL or Masters clubs persist in their desire to be in effect one team clubs is beyond me. They should be openly encouraged, supported and offered incentives by MGB to create direct links with youth clubs (perhaps with formal mergers) or set up their own youth sections creating identity for youngsters and to give them something to aspire to.

On the flip side, I wonder how many Masters players either have or currently play in the morning and then go and either run their sons teams or watch them in the afternoon.

The ideas about the number of divisions in the MSFL or deduction of points will do nothing but touch the surface. If people really want to see a difference, they need to buy into the principle of 'preventative measures to ensure teams and more importantly clubs do not fold' and accept and buy into it and develop it as a long term strategy.

That's what the development of grassroots football is all about. Not least as by definition, it is this that creates 'community' which would establish the sustainability.

This is one thing the FA are good at and particularly within the non-jewish circuit. There is plenty of support out there. You just have to ask.

I have highlighted this so many times over the years, yet people seem afraid to attempt any real change or indeed talk.

One day, before it's too late, hopefully people will wake up!

Les Conway
Club Chairman
Pinner JFC


Location: Manchester
Joined: 02/08/2010
Status: Offline

Posted on: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 14:41#1

I have been following the M.S.F.L debate and maybe new rules should be brought in to help both clubs and league
1.At the start of every season two midweek games as well as sunday should be played so after the second week when the nights are long you would all have played six games. Teams do not have a choice if you dont play the game is awarded and you are fined.
If you have more than one team you have to give a team list of 14 what ever league they play in( sunday only )so if you have 4 teams you have to hand in 3 lists. Only 2 of those listed players can play for another of their teams and none of them can play in cup matches.
If clubs choose to play in the morrison the executive must only allow them to play in one other outside cup competition.
New teams should have to put a £100 bond which they get back after being in the league for two years.
Clubs should be allowed 2 free dates only and if they call off any other games they lose the points and get fined.
Johnny Davis Chairman South Manchester Sports Club


Location: Barnet
Joined: 09/08/2009
Status: Offline

Posted on: Mon, 02/08/2010 - 14:46#2

nice photo les not as handsome as me though ;-)


Location: Pinner
Joined: 07/04/2008
Status: Offline

Posted on: Tue, 02/09/2010 - 00:27#3

I have found it very interesting to read the variety of views from representatives of clubs and the league itself.

But this is not an issue to be ignored. The historic evidence is clear as occurred on the jewish youth football scene in particular as I have already outlined.

It is correct that there is a national decline in eleven a side football across the land as noted by the League Chairman in his column. He is a Director of the London FA and undoubtedly is presented with the statistics on a regular basis. More so than I, despite my grassroots development involvement.

However, this is far from the reason as to why the issues exist in the MSFL.

It is abundantly clear that there are varying concerns of a number of people and if these aren’t addressed to satisfy, there is a real risk of these developing into a real problem.

Personally, I respect the principles of the Maccabi constitution on the jewish issue. And if people want to participate in any of it’s activities, they have to respect that too.

Equally, the position of dual teams. There is a place for them and it’s healthy that they do exist. Providing, players are allocated to set teams (i.e. A, B or C).

Indeed, when new clubs join they are required to evidence to the league at interview that they have strength and depth of a squad. Logic would dictate therefore, that this does not apply to multi team clubs as there would be otherwise no need for the drop down rule.

Last season and for various reasons, we moved the whole of our youth section to the Watford Friendly League. Here, as is the case to my knowledge with the vast majority of leagues up and down the land, players in the same club and same age group register for one team whether it be A, B or C etc. If they want to move from say B to A, they have to go through a standard transfer process.

Why this is not a standard in the MSFL is strange. It works elsewhere, so it’s peculiar as to why it's not adopted here.

The fact of the matter is that there are reasonable differences of opinion. Along with the demise of an usual number of teams this season, these two points alone highlight that there is a problem.

Some people's views may appear knee jerk, but at least they're expressing their views as they see a problem too and care.

To live in eternal hope that the trend will reverse itself by more players joining the league is naive and unrealistic. What is necessary is a proper plan.

I have already given two suggestions in my earlier post as to how to rectify this. But it seems that the will is to just rely on hopes and dreams.

This is sure to cause even greater risk if people do.

Les Conway
Club Chairnan
Pinner JFC