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Mon 13th Sep 2010 | Football Governance

Local football clubs should benefit from a smoother and more efficient process when processing appeals paperwork this season following the publication of the Football Association’s Disciplinary Procedure Amendments for 2010/11, which also outlines a wider range of options for players wishing to state their case after a red card


Rather than three responses to standard charges such as violent conduct or denying a goalscoring opportunity, there are now five so players have greater flexibility to offer their observations verbally at a hearing. Players, via their club secretaries, are entitled to request a correspondence or a personal hearing whether accepting or disputing the charge. For more serious misconduct cases, simply accepting isn’t an option as punishments are levied on a case-by-case basis.


From this season, the admin fee for all cases increased from £8 to £10 without exception, as voted in nationwide by The FA Council. For disciplinary commission decisions, appeals to The FA will be limited to those in excess of 21 days and/or a £15 fine and multiple charges can now be included in a single case. Match officials may, upon request, also be told the result of a hearing they’ve been involved in, subject to the participant being aware of the decision.


There are occasions where monies are owed to a club, competition, pitch provider or the County FA which become sufficiently overdue for a football debt recovery process to kick-in. A number of small amendments have also been made to this process such as a minimum recovery amount of £50 except for County FA disciplinary monies. All requests for recovery must be made within 112 days of the debt accruing and there are special terms for leagues to claim against clubs.


The Governance Team at the County Office in Chelmsford is on hand during weekdays between 9:00am and 5:00pm to assist with grassroots football queries and supply support to the County’s volunteers. Aside from the roles the team have in processing admin linked to misconduct on the pitch, the maintenance of the Laws of the Game is also at the forefront of their activities and, with around 1,600 clubs affiliated yearly, roughly 4,700 teams, this is a comprehensive task.


County cups are also organised each campaign, building towards an end-of-season climax, while representative teams are compiled to face other counties at Under 18s, 16s and women’s levels. Certain aspects relating to the County’s 1,800-strong referee list and schools football come under their auspices as well, in addition to welfare case management and safeguarding children.


Greg Hart, Essex County FA Governance Manager, said: “The FA reviews its disciplinary procedures annually to try and keep grassroots football more in-line with the professional game. The admin charge has been considered for the last five years and hasn’t changed from the £8 fee since 2003. The debt recovery change was put in place to assist clubs who may have found the previous rule difficult to adhere to, increasing the time scale to apply from 56 to 112 days.”


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