U.C.L. Academicals Football Club

(The Accies)

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Joining the Accies


Held at 7.30pm on Thursday 4th July at The Princess of Wales, 27 Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6ND

Present: Danny McConnell, Adrian Haysome, Rob James, Scott Atkinson, Stu Bannister, Spencer Gore, Danny Fewkes, Mark Dawson, Bobby Butlin.

Apologies for absence: John Inman, Dan Chantler, Steve Woodrow.

Approve the minutes of the 2001 AGM.

1.      REPORT – Reports on the 2001-2002 season.

2.      FINANCIAL STATEMENT - To agree on subscriptions for the 2002-03 season

3.      SUBSCRIPTION ARREARS - To consider how to prevent subs getting in arrears

4.      NUMBER OF TEAMS TO RUN IN 2002-03


6.      ELECTION OF OFFICERS - To elect the Honorary Secretary, Fixture Secretary, Treasurer, Referees Secretary, Social Secretary, Statistician, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and Veterans team captains.


8.      TRAINING


10.    RULES


1. 2001-02 REPORT

No-one could doubt that the 2000-1 season has been the most successful in the club’s history, with the 1st XI retaining the AFA Senior Cup and winning the Southern Olympian League. The 2nd and 6th XI’s finished runners-up in their leagues and the veterans won the SOL Veterans Cup, and in this light 2001-02 should be considered.

Simply in terms of trophies 2001-02 was an anticlimax. The 6th XI won their league title, but this proved to be the only success. Runners-up trophies came from the 1st and 3rd XI’s in the league, and the 1st, 2nd and Veterans XI’s in the SOL Cups. The 2nd and 5th XI finished third in their leagues, and the 4th XI finished fourth.

So week by week this was probably the best season yet. All teams were strong, and all teams turned out each week expecting to win. That we ran out of steam when the crunch came shouldn’t cloud the whole season, though should flag a few pointers for future seasons.

We need to continue the policy of ensuring that players are playing at the right level for their abilities, particularly as certain players tend to get older, as well as with new players coming into the club. The priority has to be to ensure that all players get a competitive game at a level that suits them. “Playing with your mates” is not practical within a club trying to run seven (or more!) sides. Everyone should be making themselves available for the club, and if this means moving down a side, should accept this.

Last season saw the continuation of more new members joining the club, particularly with graduates from UCL, though further work needs to be done here. Expectation of these players also needs to be addressed. It is generally true that a player at UCL will generally fit into the Accies one or two sides lower, at least initially. This was confirmed at the Mandy Walker games when a mixed 1sts/2nds/3rds/4ths/Vets Accies team comfortably beat a predominantly UCL 1st XI team. There are good players coming through from college, but they cannot expect to come through and immediately play 1st XI football for the Accies – there is a difference between student football and senior football, and it can take a season or two for players to mature and move up a side or two.

Administration remains a concern. Finding a new treasurer has thus far proved fruitless, and during the season at least two captains fulfilled their roles less by choice, but because they knew no-one else would do the job. Email has made this sort of job much easier, but the club still needs people to step forward and do their bit, as well as players to help out the captains and make their jobs easier.

Failure to confirm availability and failure to pay subs remains a headache for most skippers.

1st XI – The 1st XI finished second in the SOL Premier Division, runners up in the SOL Senior Cup (our first appearance) and lost in the last 16 of the AFA Senior Cup, on penalties, to the eventual winners. Three years ago this would have been considered a superb success. Yet, given recent achievements a sense of disappointment abounded.

The reasons for the backward steps are varied, though predominantly poor availability and injuries. Dan Chantler had little problem with operating a squad rotation system, due to the lack of a consistent side. Perhaps this will continue, for it is a general consequence of Accies getting older. Traditionally the Accies tend to stop playing earlier than players at other clubs, with family commitments and so forth taking a greater toll at weekends for players whose weekdays are dominated by work. The addition of a couple of younger members to the squad will not go amiss, but this side should continue to challenge for all competitions in the next few years.

2nd XI – For the 2nd XI the season was a revelation. Promotion to Intermediate One was expected to provide a severe test for a young side, yet they entered the final Saturday (playing another double-header) of the season in contention to win the league title, and having lost in the Cup Final.

The squad probably needs to be a little larger, with more rotation of players (when a couple of key people were missing, we struggled, though generally availability was good) and a little more goal-scoring power - the defensive record was fine, but goals were hard to come by. A little more fluidity amongst the teams is necessary - it was rare for 2nd team players to be available for other sides when required.

Stu Bannister steps down after two fantastically successful seasons as 2nd team skipper – all the more noteworthy as he was press-ganged into the job. One would hope that his successor has rather more co-operation from players than Stu had – all too often Stu found his job being made that bit harder than was necessary.

3rd XI – The 3rd XI would probably qualify as team of the season. The necessary rebuilding job was started in earnest, as the majority of the “old core” who started playing in the 1980’s found that family/business commitments, or simply declining legs and other injuries, started to fade away. One hopes that Veterans’ or lower team football will retain such people, as many of the 1980’s players now find themselves with the Vets on a Saturday/Sunday/midweek.

To say the 3rd XI have a settled squad would be an overstatement, but the nucleus is there. A regular keeper still needs to be identified, but the introduction of a number of UCL 1st and 2nd players during March and April was very welcome. We hope that many of these will join the Accies for 2002-03 and whether they play in the 3rds, or move upwards (presumably with a consequent move downwards of someone else) should help cement the consistency of this squad.

Despite the fluidity of this team, the 3rd XI finished second in their division, runners-up to a side whose club will leap-frog them to play 1st XI football next season! After a sluggish start (7 points from 7 games, and early elimination from both cups) they collected 35 from their final 14 games. The standard of football played was particularly high for “3rd XI football” and there is much to be optimistic about for 2002-03.

The “management system” for the side worked fairly well, with Danny McConnell sorting out the admin during the week and Jamie Pearson or Scott Atkinson skippering the side on a Saturday. We hope that for next season Scott will be able to assume both roles. Jamie, stalwart for many years, steps down to hopefully play for the Veterans, where his appearance is keenly awaited.

4th XI – The 4th XI’s renaissance continued, albeit perhaps a little more slowly than had been hoped. A few of the older players finally have realised that a step down is required, and the needs to be a little less reliant on what it considers to be one or two “key players”. The mark of a good team/squad is that one or two players won’t be missed whoever they are, and the 4th XI need to ensure they have a squad of players of comparable ability. In his first season as captain Dan Willoughby looks to be taking this side in the right direction.

5th XI – The saga continues. Yet again the 5ths almost won something, but failed at the last step. Quarter finals of the AFA Cup, quarter finals of the SOL Cup, and too many draws (many snatched from the jaws of victory) kept them on the fringes of their title race.

The side, predominantly joining the Accies are starting to look a little old (more have seen their 30th than have it ahead) and even admit that they play better away from Shenley than at home. The introduction of fresh legs over the next few seasons would be welcomed, as would the long overdue trophy they seem determined to avoid!  Continual kudos should go to Bobby Butlin who is now the longest serving captain in the Accies.

6th XI – The league title that was thrown away in 2001 was clinched in 2002, with a crucial 2-1 victory away to Southgate the highlight of an 11 game winning run. Midseason also saw a change of captaincy, with Danny McConnell (awol for three months in the 3rds) handing over to Rob James, which proved to be a very successful handover, giving a skipper of the same age as the rest of the team. A split management system (a la thirds) continued, with Rob only running the team on a Saturday. In addition to the league title, the side reached the semi-finals of the SOL Cup, as well as only bowing out of the AFA Cup on penalties.

One or two players from the side will move onwards and upwards (and one or two are talking about playing for the Vets instead) but there is the core of a good, competitive side for years to come.

Optimists – The Veterans season in 2001-2002 saw a dozen fixtures played and the side return to the SOL Veterans Cup, where we lost in extra time.

Commitment continued to be rather patchy giving skipper Carl Kemp continued headaches. The net of availability needs to be cast wider, with more emphasis placed on players to make themselves available than captains to chase. It was agreed to try the split management system for the Vets next season as well, as Carl has singularly failed yet again to find a replacement to allow him to step down! Danny McConnell will sort the team out during the week, with Carl skippering on the Saturday.

Golden Boot – The Golden Boot was won by Paul Bernard (30 goals, mostly for the 6ths) who ended Scott Atkinson’s (28 goals) two year run. The competition for the Golden Gloves was intense, with James Hogg (8 clean sheets for the 2nds) just pipping Bobby Butlin (5ths) and Danny McConnell (most sides!).



At the start of the season our account stood at around £3950.00 (including pitch credits), with the objective for this season to continue to build up the club’s resources (the target being £5000.00) as well as starting to build up a reserve for the next set of kits when required (still a few seasons away, but around £500 per season needs to be set aside for this).

We had no problems pre-paying for pitches this season (the first batch being £2800.00, the second £3600) but once again at the start of the season finances were still quite tight. With around £3000.00 due for pitches before we play, and a further £800.00 due in league fees, as well as some advanced requirement for balls, kit etc, the need to have a “working float” of £5000.00 should be quite clear.

We ended the season with around £5200.00 in credit (£4500.00 in the bank plus £720.00 worth of pitches pre-paid). The requirement of pre-paying for pitches is so that we avoid payment of VAT, whereas in the past we’d always (by necessity) paid in arrears. It’s also becoming increasingly important given the changing circumstances at Shenley, with higher usage (from Watford, and UCL Students).

Season Summary

For 2001-2002 our total income was £14059.41 (up from £11918.04 in 2000-2001), comprised of £1752.00 in annual subs (£1847.50 in 2000-01), £11392.00 in match subs (£9460.00 in 2000-01), £210.50 in preseason match subs (£368.00 in 2000-01), £2.41 in bank interest (£12.54 in 2000-01), £65.00 in AFA fines collected (£48.00 in 2000-01), and £195.00 subs in arrears from previous seasons (£142.50 in 2000-01). We are still owed around £800.00 in subs (up from £480.00 in 2000-01).

We spent £6781.50 on pitches (£6355.00 in 2000-01), though our “credit” increased by £80.00 and we recouped £465.00 in pitch costs from other clubs, £0.00 on training facilities (£318.00 in 2000-01), £1452.50 on referees (£1310.00 in 2000-01), £2052.30 on teas and hospitality (£1897.30 in 2000-01), £709.00 on league fees (£688.00 in 2000-01), £373.82 on fines and miscellaneous costs (£257 in 2000-01) and £1334.65 on kit and equipment (£1032.68 in 2000-01). Around half of this amount (£700.00) was spent on buying three new sets of change shirts.

We still have about £100.00 to spend on the golden boot trophies and league medals for the 6th XI.

The figures for match fees, referees, teas and so forth are generally higher than for 2000-01 because that season the cups were abandoned and more double headers played.

Annual Subs

Annual subs were slightly down on 2000-2001, but the “£25.00 annual subs, but £20.00 if paid before 1st November” offer” was as successful as before. 88 annual subs were collected (1sts 14, 2nds 15, 3rds 14, 4ths 16, 5ths 15, 6ths 14) though a number at reduced rates for students etc.

The system of not charging annual subs for the Veterans but instead charging a Veterans match fee of £10.00 worked well.

Match Subs

Match subs in general were down on 1999-2000, simply because we played fewer games (149 in 1999-2000) and more double-headers (for which we simply charge one match fee). In addition we played more home fixtures than away fixtures (because of the better pitches at Shenley surviving the weather), which further reduced our “profit” (we roughly make £70.00 for each away game, and lose £55.00 for a home game).

Overall we played 76 home games, 80 away games (three of which were DH’s at Shenley and two more were played at Shenley, 3 neutral games (cup finals) plus a few friendlies and bits and pieces.

The breakdown for matches played and subs collected by team (shown as a total and also as an amount per “fixture”, so double-headers only counted once) was as follows:

1sts:      16 home, 14 away, 1 neutral (with no subs due). £2238.50 collected (£74.62 per fixture).

2nds:     12 home, 13 away (2 DH’s at Shenley), 1 neutral (no subs due). £1502.00 collected (£65.30 per fixture).

3rds:     11 home, 13 away (one of which was played at Shenley). £1779.65 collected (£74.15 per fixture).

4ths:     10 home, 14 away. £1858.50 collected (£77.44 per fixture).

5ths:     13 home, 11 away (1 DH at Shenley). £1665.85 collected (£72.43 per fixture).

6ths:     9 home, 11 away (one of which was played at Shenley). £1475.50 collected (£73.78 per fixture).

Vets:    5 home, 4 away, 1 neutral (with no subs due). £872.00 collected (£96.89 per fixture).

Overall the 159 games played was up from 130 in 2000-2001 (due to SOL Cups being cancelled and more double headers that year). The average match fee income (ignoring the Veterans) was £10520.00, or £73.06 per game (compares to £69.94 in 1998-99 and £71.59 in 1999-2000 and £72.77 in 2001-02).

At the end of the season we had £4500.00 in the bank, £720 in pitch credits, so our surplus for the season was effectively around £1200.00.

Projection for 2002-03

Given all of the above we should start 2001-02 with around £4500.00 in the bank, whilst £800.00 is to be spent on league fees and about £2500.00 on pre-paid pitch costs at Shenley, which we pay for in advance twice a season to avoid payment of VAT – leaving a “pre-season fund” of just over £1200.00.

This illustrates quite clearly that we need to have a reasonably significant reserve of funds in our account at the start of the season. Whereas in the past the Accies have always run on the bread-line (start the season with nothing, end the season with nothing) we actually need to lay our hands on almost £4000.00 before the season starts, plus any money for kit replacement and other equipment (balls, etc). The long term target “minimum reserve” of £5000.00 was set in 1998 and we are still working towards this.

We still need to consider kit for the future. Whilst currently our kits are all perfectly serviceable (though we’ve had to spend some money this year on topping them up/repairing them) by 2004 or 2005 we will probably need to replace all of our kits (which will cost around £2500.00). To this end we should aim to “set aside” at least £500.00 each season for kits, so that come 2004 or whenever we already have £2500.00 in the bank allocated to “kit purchasing”. Ideally we’d be looking to replace one kit every season, but given that all existing kits were purchased at the same time this isn’t practical. Therefore we should consider £500.00 each season as being set aside for kit.

Bearing these factors in mind our effective current balance is around £3700.00 (with £1500.00 set aside for future kits), whereas £5000.00 ought to be a longer term target.

We should therefore aim to maintain the current financial regime for next season:- £7.00 match fees, halved for students, annual subs £25.00 if playing ten or more games (£20.00 if paid by 1st November) and £10.00 “social subs” if playing four or more games, with a £10.00 match sub for the vets. Annual subs for students and unemployed to be waived.

This should then hopefully make a surplus of around £1000.00 to increase the effective float, and set aside a further £500.00 for future kit purchases. Allocations of money for hospitality (£300.00) and kit (£500.00) should remain unchanged. We shouldn’t need to purchase more change kits.

One further item I would like to consider at the AGM is whether to charge a reduced match fee for “recent graduates” (probably those who have graduated this summer). I’m fully aware that nowadays students leave college with no money and a huge student loan (and probably no clothes they can wear either!), and I wonder whether helping them in their first year of employment by allowing them to pay half subs would be a good idea. Comments will be very welcome, particularly from those who are recent graduates.


One continuing problem, albeit much less dramatic than in the past, is that of subscription arrears. The early payment discount and thresholds for annual subs have made collection of match subs much more efficient and much less hassle for captains. There does remain a problem with match-fees.

In 2000-01 we trialled the system of: match fees will be £7.00 on the day but £8.00 if paid in arrears. The admin proved a little cumbersome and the system wasn’t really used for 2001-02. For 2002-03 it was agreed that match fees paid in arrears should be £10.00, with players not to be considered for selection if owing £21.00 (three match fees) or more.

However, the priority should be to encourage people to pay up exactly on the day.



One issue which has begun to raise its head over the last season or two is whether to expand to run a 7th league team. It was agreed this was not at present a viable option. Whilst there are plenty of people who claim they’d like to play for the Accies, there is a huge difference between “being keen” at the Mandy Walker games, or in September, when the weather is good, and making a commitment to playing most Saturdays during the season, particularly a wet and cold January afternoon at Mill Hill Village.

Additionally much of the impetus for running an extra side seems to come from a group of players wanting to play together, rather than absorb themselves into the club structure. One of the biggest reasons for the success of the Accies (both in terms of results, and recruitment and retention of players) over the last few years is that we have broken down (most of) the cliques, and teams are now based around players of like ability. This is the only way a club can successfully operate for any period of time – in the end you want a side in which no-one is much better/worse than the rest and are playing opponents of similar abilities.

In addition there are concerns over pitches – whether Shenley could accommodate an extra Accies side in 2002-03 is questionable, though this might be more viable in 2003-04.

None of these are reasons why we shouldn’t look to expand, but simply details about how we should look to do so. With a much quicker influx of players from UCL coming through now, as well as a “backlog” of people who have graduated in recent years, we do have more players coming through and looking to play. On the flip side, we do still have players from the last “boom” (early 90’s) starting to quit playing, and we’ve not had a problem accommodating new players by filling gaps. It may be another season before we’re really looking at having too many players.

The obvious transition to looking to run a further side is to start by playing a few friendlies. We’ll try and do more of this next season. If enough people are available on a Saturday to run a 7th team, then we’ll do so. I appreciate that this won’t produce as many players as league games, but it will give us an idea as to whether we can a 7th side on a regular basis.



One continuing “concern“ with the Accies is the relative lack of socialisation, particularly as a club. Some of the sides tend to go out en masse on a Saturday evening, either early or all evening, but rarely do we do so as a club.

Historically AFA football has always involved a high degree of socialising, and players coming through from UCL are used to a similar element. For the Accies this has always been difficult. Most clubs with a good social element have a geographical base – everyone goes back to the clubhouse and stay there all evening (though this is in serious decline). At UCL the students all get the coach back to the Union and spend the evening there.

For the Accies there is no equivalent – staying at Shenley isn’t an option (there’s no atmosphere, and it’s impossible to get back from if you’ve had a few beers) and inevitably once people return to London they disappear in separate directions (not least because some drive back to London, some go by train). Unless we can identify a single venue back in London (we’ve tried the Wrestlers in Highgate, which has semi-worked) it seems difficult to see how we could achieve this.

Other “club elements” have disappeared over the years. 10-15 years ago most of the sides used to meet pre-game at McDonalds, Warren Street, which encouraged some club atmosphere. But travel prevents that nowadays – it’s hard enough getting around London without adding an extra stop off pre-game.

It was agreed to try and persuade all sides to go out to the same place once a month (first Saturday of the month) as well as continuing the Christmas drink, which over the last two years this has been quite successful in getting most of the club together. A Club Dinner and perhaps another event (party on a boat on the Thames, night at the Dog Racing?) would also be investigated. To this end it was agreed to create the position of Social Secretary.

One element we might look at reviving is that in the past the first (or last, so long ago I can’t remember) Monday of the month used to be “Accies night” at the UCL Union bar, and a sprinkling of Accies would meet up there for a beer or two (and perhaps also meet some current UCL students). Assuming we could get permission to go in the Union this might be something we could revive?



Mark Dawson (Fixture Secretary), Bobby Butlin (Statistician), Danny McConnell (Hon.Sec./Chairman/Referees Secretary), Spencer Gore (Treasurer and Social Secretary) and James Hogg (Assistant Treasurer) were all elected.

Dan Chantler (1sts), Danny Fewkes (2nds), Scott Atkinson (3rds), Dan Willoughby (4ths), Bobby Butlin (5ths), Rob James (6ths) and Carl Kemp (Vets) were all elected to captain the various sides.

The lack of willing officers is a continuing concern. The club is already heavily dependent on one or two individuals, which should they have to step down could leave a huge void. In addition it makes it difficult to apply such items as the Disciplinary Code easily, as we don’t have “officers removed from playing” who can simply look after the future of the club, rather than short-term concerns (“I don’t want X suspended, I need him on Saturday”). We need encourage more volunteers for future seasons.


The continuing influx of ex-UCL players is good, but needs to be continued. This isn’t a slight on “outsiders”, but we do get our pitches because we’re a UCL Alumni club, and we ought to do our best to maximise the number of UCL Alumni. There are concerns with players coming through from the college – in most cases they have to expect to “drop” a side or two when they first join the Accies (which always seems to mean an ego bruising) – inevitably when you consider we are now one of the strongest all round clubs in London. The relative lack of socialising compared to UCL is also a concern, though again inevitable. The old cliché of University being the best days of your lives is true – when you’re a University footballer you do have good pitches, free football, easy socialising organised and laid out for you – in the real world you won’t get pitches that good every week (though the Accies are as good as you can get), free football (though we try to help students and recent graduates as much as we can) and there isn’t someone paid to organize everything for you. So there are things that graduating students need to realise and accept when they join the Accies.


In 2001-02 we didn’t really train as a club, having failed the previous season to find a suitable way to do it. The problem is basically Catch 22. We don’t have a regular slot, so we don’t get a regular turnout from people, and much of the club play for midweek teams in the evenings as an alternative. And without a regular turnout we don’t know what commitment there is, so don’t have the financial muscle to try and book something else.

Early season friendlies are probably the best bet, and perhaps a slot at Coram Fields, but as a general rule of thumb it seems to be an unlikely option in the foreseeable future.



One concern during 2001-02 was that the club came close to reaching AFA Disciplinary Stage 1, which would have triggered a fine. Hopefully this is a one-off, but all members should note the club disciplinary code, which as these sort of things go is fairly lenient (some clubs suspend a player for one match for picking up a single caution).

It is important to remember that one of the key elements in AFA football is sportsmanship, and whilst the odd card will be picked up inevitably offences such as dissent shouldn’t occur. Equally, when a referee makes a decision this should be accepted. Players shouldn’t expect any support for arguing about decisions and so forth.



A new set of rather more formal set of rules for running the club to cover us in a variety of eventualities were adopted, as follows


UCL Academicals – Revised Club Constitution for 2002 AGM

1.       The Club shall be called “UCL Academicals FC” and shall be affiliated to the Amateur Football Alliance.

The Club shall be governed in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Football Association and the Amateur Football Alliance.

2.       Membership of the club will be restricted to those who have paid annual fees and social fees, at the agreed rates, as well as Veterans who have played at least four games paying Veterans match fees.

Membership shall run from 1st September to 30th August of the year concerned. Membership fees and match subscriptions shall be set at the AGM.

A full membership fee shall be set for members who play ten or more games. A social membership fee shall only be payable by members who play four or more games.

3.       The club AGM shall be held at the end of the playing season. 21 days notice shall be given prior to the calling of the AGM by the Hon. Sec.

At this meeting the following business shall be transacted:

(i)                 To receive and confirm the Minutes of the preceding Annual General Meeting.

(ii)                To consider any business arising therefrom.

(iii)              To receive and adopt the Annual Report.

(iv)              To receive and adopt the Statement of Accounts and Balance Sheet.

(v)               Alteration of Rules, if any (of which notice has been given).

(vi)              Election of Officers.

(vii)            Any other business of which due notice shall have been given and accepted as being relevant to an Annual General Meeting.

A copy of the duly audited Statement of Accounts, Balance Sheet and Agenda shall be forwarded to each Member at least fourteen days prior to the meeting.

4.       Any member of the club may call an emergency general meeting at any time by submitting a written request to the Hon.Sec., seconded by four other members. 21 days notice must be given for an EGM.

5.       At least eight members of the club must be present at an AGM or EGM to be quorate.

6.       Any amendment to a Club rule can only be made at an AGM, or EGM called for that purpose. Any such amendment must be notified, in writing, to the Hon.Sec., at least 14 days prior to the meeting concerned.

A proposal to change a Rule shall be carried if a two-thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote are in favour

7.       The club officers shall consist of: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Hon.Secretary, Fixture Secretary, Social Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Statistician, Referees Secretary and Team Captains. All shall be elected at the AGM.

Retiring Officers shall be eligible to become candidates for re-election without nomination. All other candidates for election as Officers shall be nominated to the Hon. Secretary in writing, at least fourteen days before the AGM, or by nomination by the Committee.

Where no nomination is received prior to the AGM then nominations may be taken from the floor.

8.       During the season the club committee shall meet as and when required.

Upon receiving a request signed by at least six Members of the club the Secretary shall convene a meeting of the Committee.

9.       No member of the Committee shall, or shall be entitled to, receive any remuneration or honoraria for work done or services rendered for or on behalf of the Club.

10.   All members of the club agree to abide by the club disciplinary code.

11.     Any member who is in default of his subscriptions by three or more match fees shall be disbarred from playing.




There being no further business the meeting was closed at 9.15pm