Conclusion to the 2019-2020 SSFL Season

Following is the official league statement from the Southern Sunday Football League:

Dear Secretary,

Following the letter that I wrote to you on Monday 30th March 2020, I am now able to update you on how we intend on concluding the 2019-2020 season.

Following the advice from The London Football Association, clubs were given an opportunity to vote on the following two options on how to conclude the season.

Option A

Competitions are brought to an immediate end with results expunged (i.e. without promotion or relegation occurring)

Option B

League positions and promotion and relegation are resolved by a points per game calculation

The voting closed at 12pm today and the votes were cast as follows.

Number of eligible clubs to vote: 77 Clubs (1 Vote per club)

Number of votes cast: 60

Number of votes for option A 14 (23%)

Number of Votes for option B 46 (77%)

In my letter on Monday, I stressed to all clubs that we would respect the views and votes from all our member clubs, and we would implement the majority outcome. I would once again highlight that the league committee are custodians of the league and not the owners of it. As a result of this historic and democratic vote, you have decided the outcome of the 2019-2020 season which is to conclude the divisional tables using the Points Per Game method.

It is the view of the management committee that clubs have come to the correct determination regarding this vote and it should be acknowledged that the divisional promotions and relegations are wholly based on the performance of clubs on the field and not through a default award.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many clubs who righty acknowledged and appreciated the tireless work from the league committee and the outcome of the season rightly recognises the contribution that has been made. Clubs will remember that the committee have experienced no natural break in between last season and this season due to the mass recruitment and expansion of the league which will serve us well for years to come. It would have been a travesty to pretend that this season never existed.

I am already receiving correspondence from many clubs regarding the constitution for 2020-2021. In my letter on Monday, I confirmed that the league committee would begin to look at the constitution during the middle of May and that by 1st June 2020, clubs will have received the first draft along with the AGM papers. At this very early stage, there should be an assumption that the top two teams from their respective divisions will be promoted to the division above and the bottom two teams will be relegated to the division below.

Clubs will appreciate that the constitution is not a simple document to compile and many components feed in when deciding the placement of teams. There is a strong possibility that some existing teams will be leaving us and as is usual custom, a series of new teams and existing teams from other leagues will be joining us. It is also the intention that divisions will run with no more than 10 teams as we have learned from our experience this season that bad weather can cause significant disruption to league and cup fixtures which cause significant fixture backlogs.

On Monday 6th April 2020, I will be writing to clubs once again asking that they confirm their intention for the 2020-2021 season. If clubs obey this timescale, I may be able to get a first draft of this constitution to you all much earlier than 1st June 2020.

During my 20 years’ experience in the game, I have never experienced or faced the problems and difficulties that have played out throughout the season. The bad weather we experienced was horrendous, the discipline from some clubs became out of control and at times, poor administration from other clubs caused an additional stress and unwanted workload for the league committee.

My hope for next season is that the absence of football for this prolonged period will make the heart grow fonder of both the league and football in general. Having the opportunity to participate in a well-run, well organised, well-structured and competitive league is a privilege, not a right. I hope that clubs take this message seriously and that when the football does return, we’ll all learn to enjoy and appreciate it that little bit more.

Lastly, please may I use this opportunity to wish you and your families well during this pandemic and that you continue to follow the Government advice which remains.

1. Stay at Home

2. Protect the NHS

3. Save Lives

Yours sincerely,

Mr Graham Rodber

Chairman and General Secretary

CC - SSFL Management Committee

CC - Becky Greaves (Head of Governance, London FA)







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