It may have begun in tiers but'll end in tears


The Manchester Jewish Soccer League is set to scrap its plan to run a new two-tier system after Westdene manager Steve Davis pulled out both his teams.

The league had planned to introduce a second division but having discovered that Westdene 1st and 2nd were designated to the bottom group, Davis withdrew the club.

"The league's decision to try and put two Westdene teams in the bottom division was based on last season's results, not the previous seven," said Davis, whose team finished in the bottom two last season.

"We've had seven very successful years – winning a cup every season including three in one season three years ago.

"Last season I did the league a favour by entering two teams. I only wanted to put one team in, but in the end I had two diluted teams."

The MJSL was expecting to host 13 teams but has now been forced into a rethink. Davis said: "The frustrating thing is that I had a very committed bunch of boys. I'd worked hard to bring in some new players for next season but they refused to play in the bottom division."

Davis believes that there is no going back and he is leaving the league for good. "I hope that people will remember me for the right reasons," he said. "I have never done anything in Jewish football for personal gain. I care more about the game and the MJSL than I do about myself.

"I feel that I've been let down by the league as I've supported it 100 per cent while clubs such as Manchester Maccabi, South Manchester and Leeds Maccabi have always put non-Jewish football first."

MJSL chairman Brian Myer said: "I'm disappointed with Westdene's decision. They finished in the bottom two last season. This left us with a tricky situation and it would've been unfair to send Oakhill and Crumpsall down instead."

"We're now looking at one division of 10 or 11 teams so hopefully we'll be slightly better off numbers-wise than last season."

It is understood that Mr Myer has asked Westdene assistant-manager Rafi Hasid to form a team under another name.

"There is certainly no vendetta against Steve Davis," said Myer. "We awarded him Team Secretary of the Year last season and have always appreciated his enthusiasm."

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