Southern League Show Zero Compassion or Respect

Jemfy

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Thread starter #1
To me this is a much bigger story than something to be on the SL thread. Sorry to those who disagree.

The Southern League have refused to allow AFCR&D to play without a number 1 shirt. The shirt was retired in the memory of Dale Roberts, and no number 1 has ever been worn at the club for this reason, in any team.

Fair play to the BBC they've already picked it up as a story - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/33823495

Official AFCR&D statement - http://www.afcdiamonds.com/afc-rushden-diamonds-no-1-shirt

And finally, if people on here could sign and spread the petition, that would be fantastic. Help put pressure on the league to change their minds:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/petition-against-the-southern-leagues-decision/
 

Master D

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#2
Signed. What a nonsense rule that is for starters, nevermind the lack of respect it is showing. I'm sure the FA will get it sorted for you as it would be very bad publicity for them to refuse to get involved in it.
 

Jemfy

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Signed. What a nonsense rule that is for starters, nevermind the lack of respect it is showing. I'm sure the FA will get it sorted for you as it would be very bad publicity for them to refuse to get involved in it.
Our problem is that our appeal hasn't gone through yet. As we are due to play our opening fixture tomorrow we are being forced to wear a shirt with a number 1 on it, or face the consequences - whatever they might be.

The Southern League have the option of allowing dispensation, temporary or permanent, to make it so we don't have to start a number 1 tomorrow, before the problem gets solved for the remainder of the season.

Full credit to the UCL, they solved this issue by making a minor change in the wording of their rule which stated outfield players must start with numbers 1-11 and the squad with 1-17 (to allow no number 13 if wanted). The change made it so it was just that the team have to wear numbers 1-17. I can't see why the Southern League couldn't do the same.
 

Aberstone

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#4
Happy to keep this thread here as it deserves to be shown to a wider audience.

I've also signed the petition, the lack of compassion shown from the Southern League is bizarre.
 

Master D

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#5
Our problem is that our appeal hasn't gone through yet. As we are due to play our opening fixture tomorrow we are being forced to wear a shirt with a number 1 on it, or face the consequences - whatever they might be.

The Southern League have the option of allowing dispensation, temporary or permanent, to make it so we don't have to start a number 1 tomorrow, before the problem gets solved for the remainder of the season.

Full credit to the UCL, they solved this issue by making a minor change in the wording of their rule which stated outfield players must start with numbers 1-11 and the squad with 1-17 (to allow no number 13 if wanted). The change made it so it was just that the team have to wear numbers 1-17. I can't see why the Southern League couldn't do the same.
If it was me I would just have your goalie walking onto the pitch with no.13 on and say bollocks to their ruling for tomorrow. What's the worst they can do to you, cancel the match there and then? Points off? Not likely.
 

Smudge

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#6
Considering squad numbers mean virtually nothing these days and we get all kinds of bizarre numberings, it really is petty that the league wont allow Rushden to do this. It means nothing to them, and everything to Rushden so why the hell not?
 

Jemfy

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If it was me I would just have your goalie walking onto the pitch with no.13 on and say bollocks to their ruling for tomorrow. What's the worst they can do to you, cancel the match there and then? Points off? Not likely.
We've used 17 as the starting number for GK's, so that would be the number. It's something that has been suggested a number of times on our forum. They can probably fine us, I have no idea how much. Hopefully we won't have to, but I guess we will see the club's decision tomorrow.
 

JaredSUFC

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#10
Signed. Callous, head in the sand, self-serving numpty-ness from the Southern League.

What would happen if you had no number on the back of the goalkeeper's shirt?
 

Jemfy

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Signed. Callous, head in the sand, self-serving numpty-ness from the Southern League.

What would happen if you had no number on the back of the goalkeeper's shirt?
Another idea that went up on our forum, and we can only presume the same sort of problem as if we wore the wrong number. Probably a fine.
 

Jemfy

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How much would the SL fine you, out of interest?
I have no clue! There isn't really a precedent for it as far as I'm aware. I'm not sure what the standard fine is for improper kit, but I imagine it would be that.
 

Mark kavanagh

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#15
Why dont you get mobile phone giants 3 to sponsor the back of your goalie shirt for a nominal fee? It could be made to look like 13 but it is a genuine 1 next to a sponsors logo.

This will sidestep the issue and really annoy the authorities too, they hate being out thought
 

Meadow

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#16
I'm facebook friends with one of your former chaplains and he posted the link there.

Signed and shared.
 

Si Robin

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#18
Signed.

What concerns me though is that there is precedent at international level for refusal to allow the retirement of squad numbers, Argentina (10 for Maradona) and Cameroon (17 for Marc-Vivien Foe). With that being said, there are many clubs, including QPR (31), West Ham (6 and 38) and Manchester City (23) who have been allowed to.
 

Jemfy

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Why dont you get mobile phone giants 3 to sponsor the back of your goalie shirt for a nominal fee? It could be made to look like 13 but it is a genuine 1 next to a sponsors logo.

This will sidestep the issue and really annoy the authorities too, they hate being out thought
I might be wrong, but I'm not sure you can put a sponsorship at that sort of location, I think the regulations are a bit more strict than that.
 

Shotsfan1993

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#20
Signed, shame the Southern League have failed to use any sort of common sense. The shirt was retired out of respect to the keeper, its not like you are doing it just to be difficult.
 

Jemfy

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I'm overwhelmed by the support for the petition and the general media that this story has generated already. I wonder if it will generate more after today's events!

After an almost universal outpouring of indignation and support for the club to not adhere to this ruling from the fans of not only our own club but many others too, the players lined up with Matt Finlay in goal wearing the number 17. The match sponsor of the day also saw fit to award the man of the match award to Finlay, with a great cheer as it was read out as "Number 17 Matt Finlay".

It will be seen if the club will be charged by the league, and what fine will be charged. I can only predict that the same will happen on Tuesday night when we travel to St Ives.

Please continue to sign the petition and share it around, encouraging others to do so too. All support is appreciated and will back the club to help get this stupid rule changed. For the lazy, here is the link again: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/petition-against-the-southern-leagues-decision/

Edit: I also meant to add that I am delighted it has reached over 2500 signatures already!
 

Chris FGR

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#24
Signed.

Surely the Southern League can't be so bone headed as to actually charge you for this, as the UCL showed it's not that difficult to amend the rulebook.
 

SGW

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#26
With all due respect to Jemfy and anyone else who has strong feelings about this, I'm going to put my head over the parapet and say I don't agree with your position. That's not in any way to suggest that what happened to Dale Roberts wasn't a tragedy or that he shouldn't be remembered but retiring a shirt is the wrong way to go about it (IMHO) whether it's Roberts, Foe or whomever.

This wouldn't even be an option had the professional leagues not moved to the ridiculous system of squad numbers, but that's really an argument for another day.

Personally (and everybody is of course perfectly entitled to disagree), I really don't see the relevance of a squad number as a memorial: I appreciate that it's done as a mark of respect but there are other, more appropriate ways to do that. If doing this does become a habit, then a) clubs will eventually end up with all sorts of gaps in the numbers they can use which will cut across new players coming in who might want to have certain numbers, b) pointless (again, in my opinion) "discussion" about when it's appropriate to retire a number and when not, and c) expansion of what is deemed appropriate until it encompasses much more than originally intended (because that is what always happens).

It could even be argued that R&D are being disrespectful to their peers in the Southern League (not that I am equating in any way that "disrespect" with the respect they wish to show to Dale Roberts: I just don't think the two things can be compared as they are so completely different) who may like and wish to retain the 1 to 11 rule. At the end of the day, you are members of that organisation and the way to change something you don't like is to propose an amendment at the league AGM and canvass for support from the other clubs. I don't think the right way to act is to try and push the league into a corner and make them look like the bad boys just because they want to enforce the rules that everyone else has agreed to abide by.

I do appreciate that I know nothing about the Southern League or how it is run, so there may be something else going on here with some of the comments. And of course this may be a rule which the other clubs are happy to let go in the interests of being sensitive, in which case you shouldn't have a problem changing it the right way, should you?
 

Jemfy

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Hi SGW, and welcome to the forum.

Thank you for putting your point across in an eloquent and respectful manner on this very emotive subject, there are a few counter points I would like to raise.

First off I think we differ greatly, possibly a generational thing, about the requirement for a starting lineup to be numbered 1-11. I don't see any particular requirement for it, and the only justification I've heard for that point of view is "tradition". Just because something is tradition doesn't mean it should be continued by necessity. Granted professional clubs moving to squad numbers is a pure marketing thing, but any arbitrary number is all a referee needs to be able to identify outfield players unambiguously, let alone goalkeepers.

Second, we are not the only club at our level to have retired a shirt number, it just happens that the others that I am aware of don't fall under the Southern League structure and as such it is not a consistency across the pyramid that we are trying to change, but just the internal rules which only govern Southern League clubs and not their counterparts in the Northern or Isthmian leagues.

The rules also specifically allow for a team to not use the number 13 for superstitious reasons. Why is this allowed, but not choosing not to use another number in the match day squad for a different reason? We are not asking to be allowed to use ridiculous numbers outside the applicable range, the reason we are using the number 17 is because it is specifically allowed in a match-day 16.

The changes to the rule will not force other clubs to follow what we do, or incur extra costs in any way. The rule change we had done in the UCL, who we are learning to be far more greatful towards, has not negatively impacted any other clubs in other ways over the three full seasons it has been in effect. If anything it possibly even helps if a club has damage to a shirt which they can't replace in time for another game they have no obligation to wear 1-11, just numbers between 1-17.

Here or in other arguments I have no time for the "slippery slope" line of logic of "if you allow this where will it end...". We are asking for a specific and minor change, one which is implemented in other leagues at, above, and below our level with no seeming adverse effect.

As for how the change should have been done, and if we are showing disrespect to the league, it's hard for me to comment. I have no idea if it was a) known to be an issue at the time of the AGM, or b) raised at/before the AGM with the Southern League board. The original statement showed that the club did indeed follow correct channels of dialogue with the board, though apparently after the AGM, before being rejected. As a result the club intended to follow through with wearing a number 1, but the response from our fanbase has been such that it would have been very difficult to do so as a fan owned club when a large proportion of the fan-owners come out strongly against the position.

Remember this is still under appeal to be heard by the FA, the only reason it has become public is that it has not been heard before the start of the season.

Finally, as for the appropriateness of the retirement of his number as a tribute, only those that knew Dale can surely say what they feel is and isn't appropriate? You can't tell someone else how to remember their lost friends and family. Dale's parent's have been interviewed on the subject and were absolutely devastated to find out the news.
 

Jemfy

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http://www.afcdiamonds.com/fa-appeal-club-statement

"Following the FA Appeal hearing yesterday the club have been granted special dispensation to wear No.17 shirt for the 2015/16 season, a full statement will follow in due course."

:2thumb:

Thank you to all on here who read, supported, signed and spread the petition. Common sense prevails!
 

SGW

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#30
Congratulations, Jemfy (and thank you for taking the time to respond to my post).

Whilst I don't really agree with the principle of retiring a shirt, it's obvious that this is a deeply emotional issue and it's difficult to argue that it's not common sense in the circumstances.
 

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