The League have today taken the unprecedented step of writing an “Open Letter” to the Chairman and to teh Chief Executive of Essex County Football Association. The letter is as follows:

Dear Wayne and Brendan,

Open Letter re ECFA Threat not to Sanction Leagues

The League have received another email from the Essex County Football Association (ECFA) threatening that the League will not be sanctioned unless 80% of teams attend Sin Bin Training. Without being sanctioned the League cannot run and so would fold.

The League has always been very proactive in encouraging and supporting fair play and sportsmanship both on and off the field of play. Both the FA and the ECFA have been promoting the benefits grassroots football makes to the Country. As a League we are proud of the contribution we have made to that by providing regular exercise for males between the ages of 35 and 82. You will both be very aware of the decline in 11v11 football in Essex. These figures would have declined even further without the League expanding to offer 11v11 football to over 1400 players aged over 45

In September 2018 we spoke to the ECFA to try to arrange Sin Bin Training for our Clubs and Referees. The League Management Committee are therefore very disappointed that rather than working with the League to ensure as many players, Managers and Referees are aware of this Laws of the Game change the ECFA have decided it was better for them to threaten the League with not running instead.

We are aware that we are not the only League that has received the same threat from the ECFA. We do not understand how threatening to close League’s all over the County supports the aims of the ECFA. Also the impact on volunteer’s mental health by issuing these threats does not seem to have been considered at all. 

Please can I ask for the threat of not being sanctioned due to Sin Bin Training is withdrawn from both the Essex Veterans League and all the other Leagues who have received the same threat from the ECFA?

I look forward to your prompt reply.


Brian Sayers


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