The following letter was sent to all clubs in the Kent County Football League yesterday (21/01/24) by Gavin Hoare, League Chairman, for and on behalf of all the KCFL Committee;
“All Member Clubs
It is with serious concern that I am now writing to all Clubs to express not just mine, but all of the Executive Committees clear exasperation over the future of football in this League, which is being caused by a minority of Clubs that cannot control the behaviour of their spectators and/or their players.
This season has been one of the worst for discipline and even more worrying, serious discipline. We have now had 7 games abandoned or significant issues due to player behaviour over the last 12 months, including the Police being called on more than one occasion.
This badly tarnishes the Leagues reputation and falls well below any standard we expect. On top of this we have had teams choosing when they want to play and on what type of pitch they will play on, leading to games being postponed which did not need to be. This is not acceptable as so much work goes into putting fixtures together so you can all play. This Season 14 games have not been fulfilled due to the actions of 1 Club.
Abuse to match officials is also now out of control and must stop. There have been 23 Charges for Match Official Approaches within the designated cooling off period this Season.
The Executive Committee has now decided enough is enough and will put forward to the full committee its plan to turn this decline around. This serious bad behaviour has to stop immediately.
It is clear that some clubs cannot control it, so it’s time for the League to explore what we can do.
I will be talking with the FA on possible points deductions, this may also mean recommendations to expel clubs from the league.
I will also seek the permission to name and shame those causing you, the majority of member clubs, these problems.
If we do not deal with this minority both quickly and effectively then it will be the majority that will suffer, as there may well be no League for them to play in. There are no other people to take over the running of this league if senior officers walk away. Trust me this is not a threat.
I remain confident that the vast majority of good clubs in this League will support the management committee in taking the toughest actions against those spoiling the game for the rest of us.
In truth. it’s only member clubs that can vote a club out if we make recommendation to do so. I implore you, do not be the first club that members eject from the league.
I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone what the purpose of this League is. We are the main and only step from Saturday League Football to the National League System. If we cannot produce Clubs ready and wanting to play at a higher level, then we just become another local League of which there are now only a few left.
We have set a high standard, which we accept has fallen somewhat, mainly following the Covid Seasons. We have not restored standards back to pre-Covid times. This will be addressed immediately, and if it means a few are not able to maintain those standards, then this may not be the League for them. This Season 47 charges for late text results have been issued, and 43 for late Match Reports.
All those that have known me over the years know I speak with honesty. I will lead and fully support my team in what may be some tough decisions we will have to take, and I will support all referees that continue to try and do their best under, in some cases, the most unacceptable pressures.”