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Mixed reaction to MJSL late format change

    The MJSL committee came under fire this week following its dramatic late U-turn in abandoning plans for a second division .

    The 12 teams were set to be split into two tiers following a committee meeting on August 16 after the new format was agreed.

    But just 24 hours later, the league ripped up its latest plans and reverted to having just a single division ahead of the new season.

    In an email sent last Friday, MJSL secretary Paul Rose released a statement informing members of the committee and executive of the change.

    The decision was roundly criticised by Manchester Maccabi’s Barry Davidson, who accused the committee of making themselves look “foolish” after backtracking over their previous announcement.

    “I am not very impressed with this about turn,” said Davidson.

    “It makes your committee look foolish as though they had not thought it through before they made the original decision.”

    In a statement, league chairman Brian Myer explained the sudden change, which came just over a week before the start of the new season.

    He said: “A major reason for the decision is that we could not risk any one team dropping out midway during the season to leave a five-team division. This way it gives all teams an equal opportunity of winning the championship.”

    While the committee has been criticised for its change of heart, Republic of Flixton manager Stuart Delmonte has described the decision as “noble”.

    “I think it’s very admirable what the league has done,” he said.

    South Manchester 2nd boss Neil Collins said: “It shows strength to change your mind for the right reasons and in the best interests of all the boys.”

    The MJSL curtain raiser takes place on Sunday when defending champions face Harold Feldman Cup winners Manchester Maccabi 3rd.

    In the league, Republic of Flixton will play their first match at the Accounts Direct Stadium following their groundsharing agreement with Northwich Victoria.

    Republic, who will play on a brand new £6,500 playing surface, will also have the use of two changing rooms, an all-seater stand, floodlights, as well as a covered terrace and clubhouse bar.

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