2004 UCL ACADEMICALS AGM
7.15pm on Tuesday 20th July at The Chadwick Street Recreation Centre,
Chadwick Street, Westminster
Present: Danny McConnell, Sam Samra, Mark McGuigan, Scott
Atkinson, Spencer Gore, Rob James, Graham Whitworth, Chris Coates, Derek Fowler.
Apologies for absence: Martin Woodrow, Adrian Haysome, Danny Fewkes, Dan
Chantler, Mark Dawson.
of the 2003 AGM: The minutes of the 2003 AGM
2002-03 saw the second season for the Amateur
Football Combination, and further success for the Accies as well as the club
expanding to run League seven sides.
Five trophies were won – the 3rd XI
winning the league as well as clinching the AFA Junior Cup and the LOB Junior
Cup, completing the season unbeaten. The 2nd and 5th
XI’s also won their league titles. The 1st and 2nd
XI’s finished runners up in their LOB Cups, whilst the 4th XI
finished runners up in their league, securing promotion.
by week the recent strong pattern continued. Most teams were strong, and all
teams turned out each week expecting to win. 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 always 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 up or down a side, should accept this.
there remains work to be done. Too many club members needed to be chased for the
increasing amount of discipline paperwork, and the club lost a serious chunk of
money on training. Dan Chantler introduced a new system for monitoring the
finances, which on one level was a major improvement, but needs more liason with
to confirm availability and failure to pay subs remains a headache for most
skippers, and one or two perhaps suffered from not being hawkish enough with
those who messed them around..
XI – The 1st XI season proved in the end to
be an anti-climax, if not a disappointment. Third
in the AFC, runners-up in the LOB Senior Cup and semi-finalists in the AFA
Senior Cup is a pretty decent season, but too many people seemed to assume a
trophy was the be-all and end-all.
Too often the team failed to try and take the
initiative. An early goal scored and we’re heading for the Champions League,
an early concession and we’re heading for the Rymans! As a consequence the
season was far too “up and down” and descended into a rather disappointing
bout of “finger pointing”, with the first question too often “whose fault
was that” rather than “what can I do to sort this out”.
It may be that time is starting to catch up on the
1sts. 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. That is what we’re about, but if we’re to compete at the highest
levels people need to realise the week-in, week-out commitment required. It’s
not a criticism of people who choose to put careers first, that’s the sort of
club we are. But everyone has to accept that’s the choice they make.
we’d already suspected, tactical weaknesses continued to show. Quite simply
it’s not possible for a skipper on the pitch to concentrate on his own game
and worry about the rest of the team – one or both suffer, and at Premier
Division level that’s a handicap. Next season the Accies will have a genuine
“manager” for the first time, and will hopefully mean far more movement
between 1st and 2nd XIs during the season.
not that much of step to get back to the top, but the small steps required might
be quite painful.
XI – The bridesmaid finally got her day. Despite losing
the LOB Intermediate Cup on penalties the 2nds walked away with their league. A
slightly larger squad was used, although this meant Fewksey and McGuigan
spending much of the season on the bench (though the benefit of sideline
management was a bonus) and a number of players will threaten to break into the
1st XI next season.
XI – That
the 3rd XI were team of the season in 2003-04 cannot be doubted. A
settled and generally happy squad carried all before them. The few gripes would
be the attitude of some of the players – Scott spent far too much time chasing
people up, dealing with lateness and coping with tantrums which slightly marred
the end of the season for him. That his attitude towards dealing with these
problems and mine differed markedly is probably of credit to Scott (and
certainly good news for those concerned!) but it’s also reflected in the
reluctance of the remaining players to succeed Scott for next season. A big act
to follow, and Scott deserves great credit for his efforts over a number of
XI – Perhaps the most difficult season to assess.
Decimated by injuries was it a disappointment that they couldn’t challenge
Albanian for the league title, and lost in the semis of the AFA? Or an
achievement to have clinched promotion and progressed that far? Probably a
mixture of the two – runners up in the league was quite remarkable, and the
AFA loss ultimately very disappointing. In the end it came down to an away draw,
with the opposition choosing the smallest, bobbliest pitch they could find, then
simply outbattling the Accies. “We’d have beaten them at Shenley” was the
fall-back refrain, and all too familiar from many Accies sides. We’ve heard it
before, and we’ll hear it again.
XI – The
decision to merge the nuclei of the old 5ths and 6ths and see what came out
brought immediate fruit as the 5ths cruised to a league title. After a settling
in period the team simply marched through the rest of the season playing some of
the best football at 5th team level I’ve seen. One or two people
struggled to get a fair run, not least because of the good availability of most
players, and the 6th XI deserve credit for their support.
far the darkest moment of the season came in a 5th XI AFA Cup game,
with serious racism and threats of violence directed towards the Accies. I’ve
included a copy of the letter of complaint sent to the AFA with these notes, as
at this stage of the season it’s pertinent for all Accies to be aware of what
can happen when things go wrong.
initial complaint by the Accies fell by the wayside, mainly because of lack of
support by the referee. Towards the end of the season Old Camdenians track
record caught up with them, and the side was expelled from the AFC. They still
face action by the AFA.
XI – A
season of inconsistency. The “other half” of the old 5ths and 6ths proved to
be “fairly senior” group and as such they tended to perform better away from
Shenley than at home (where often younger sides simply outran them). The core of
the side are starting to slide into retirement, and next season will probably
require a major influx of youth and bodies.
XI – Last AGM there were no plans for a 7th
XI, but in September it quickly became clear the Accies had enough players to
run a 7th team, and the league kindly allowed us a late entry. The
early months were difficult, with the side playing home games at Donkey Lane,
Enfield and quite some turnover of players. One of the saddest elements of any
rebuilding of a side is that one or two players, usually very keen, end up
missing out because better players come along, and this was the case with the
On the positive side, Spencer Gore’s captaincy
(never dull, as Spenny swooped alternatively between the emotional heavens and
the darkest depths) meant a large influx of “lost Accies”, most ex-UCL and
all professing undying keen-ness to play next season. Whether enthusiasm to play
in cold, dark December matches that of sunny April remains to be seen, but one
hopes all will continue.
The biggest problem for next season is likely to be
the number of players, but with the 6ths probably needing half-a-dozen players
(and the 7ths likely to be overloaded anyway) it’s likely a “block
transfusion” will be the answer. The key is getting the balance right – some
of the players are too good to be playing in 9 North, but others are likely to
struggle much higher up. We want to ensure people are playing at the standard to
Optimists – A season of change. Paul Matthewson stepped down
mid-season to be replaced by Ian Christopherson, and by the season’s end the
five year debate over whether to play Saturday afternoons or Sunday mornings was
settled in favour of the latter. Hopefully it should produce better
availability, as well as stronger sides.
next season there’s a serious hope to compete strongly in the LOB Cup, though
the Accies will need to do well to challenge the strongest sides.
All Sides - Two more general aspects applied to all sides for
2003-04. For the first time in memory each team were settled at the goalkeeping
position, and we didn’t have the week by week chase for someone to fill the
sticks. Not something that should be quickly forgotten.
On the flip side, many sides often probably carried
one player too many. 14 players are generally too many on a Saturday, as are 11
not enough. 12 or 13 should be the optimum, or a skipper struggles to give
everyone a decent game. It’s a balance, but we do need to remember we’re an
amateur club – not many people are going to turn up regularly for 10 or 20
minutes here and there.
The Golden Boot was won by Lloyd Vanson (41 goals) whose promotion to the 1sts
next season is all but guaranteed. Runner-up was Paul Bernard, who might have
been closer but for multiple injuries. The competition for the Golden Gloves was
a runaway for Matt Ramsden (14), chased by Danny McConnell (11) though frankly
we could regularly have gone for a beer together and still kept them such was
the protection offered. But it was entertaining to see quite how seriously Matt
took it all.
Secretary’s Report was accepted.
more detailed breakdown of the club’s finances should follow, but briefly at
the start of the season our account stood at around £6500 (£5500 in the bank,
£1000 in pitch credits). At the season end we had £4500 (£3700 in the bank,
£800 in pitch credits). Basically a loss of £2000 on the season.
reasons for the significant losses were twofold. First we spent £1200 on new
kits, £700 more than we’d budgeted for. Secondly, we spent between £1000 and
£1500 on training, which was meant to be covered by collecting training subs,
bank balance of £3700 is around £2000 lower than it ought to be. At the start
of each season we basically need to find £5000 up front (£450 AFA affiliation
fees, £100 LOB cup entries, £350 AFC league entries and £3400 for Shenley, as
well as up to £500 for kit and balls) before a ball is kicked (i.e. before a
penny is collected). A bank balance of £6000 ought to be the sensible working
minimum. 12 months ago we were close to it, now we’ve taken a couple of steps
season our costs will rise: pitches are increasing to £85.00 (from £80.00,
still cheap at the price), teas at Shenley to £39.00 (from £30.00, not so
cheap, but combined with the cost of pitches still very decent) and referees
fees to £22.00 (from £20.00). Assuming we play 90 home games this takes a
further £1400 out of the budget.
the increase in these “home game costs” it was proposed that match fees
should rise by £1.00 per match to £8.00 (the first rise in match fees for six
years, though the next is likely to come more quickly). This would raise an
extra £1800 (180 matches, £10 per match).
was further proposed that annual subscriptions should rise to £30.00 (£25.00
if paid before 31st October) from £25.00.
discussion followed on whether subscriptions should be higher, to give the club
the financial muscle to look at more ambitious projects (nature undetermined)
and raising match fees to both £9.00 and £10.00 were considered. A second
proposition to raise match fees to £9.00 was made, and a vote taken on whether
£8.00 or £9.00 should be the new level. A 5-2 vote was in favour of the rise
was agreed that consideration of a rise to £10.00 should be made at the 2005
AGM, but this should be flagged in advance on the agenda. The Secretary noted
that he believed such a significant decision as a rise in subscriptions should
at least be flagged as an agenda item to the membership in advance of the AGM.
summary next season match fees will be increased to £8.00, halved for students
and first year graduates, annual subs £30.00 if playing ten or more games (£25.00
if paid by 31st October) and £10.00 “social subs” if playing four or more
games, with a £10.00 match fee for the vets. Annual subs for students and
unemployed to be waived.
– Pre-Season and Mid-Season
was also discussed. It can be divided into two groups: “summer training”
(pre-season, which effectively also serve as trials) and mid-season
“training” (generally less well attended).
pre-season training, which also serves to juggle existing players and integrate
new members should be continued. It was agreed that these sessions should
essentially be self-funding, and not paid for out of central subscriptions. At
training sessions on a hired pitch we would collect a £5.00 training fee (half
training was also discussed. The general consensus was that this remains
unrealistic for the club. Our members are too spread around London, and too
often have to work too late to be able to make a regular commitment to training.
Formal training is simply not what the club is about.
if ad-hoc midweek slots become available (as they sometimes do via London Legal
League cancellations) we will take those (they cost us nothing) and we should
also endeavour to find a few more midweek matches.
the club having bought three new kits in 2003-04 (1sts, 4ths and 7ths) and a
major offseason inventory of kits completed our position is pretty healthy.
was discussion about whether it would be a good idea for all sides to have a
change strip, which rather than storing at Shenley (there are so many it’s
causing them some concerns) teams could carry them around themselves. This would
also mean a set of change shirts is available for away games when the opposition
turn up in the wrong colour (not uncommon). At present we have enough change
strips (three Pro-Star, one Crystal Palace, one Arsenal) for five sides, so
we’d need to purchase two more strips. Scott Atkinson to investigate his Coq
also need to buy some more water bottles.
IMPROVING THE SOCIAL ELEMENT FOR THE ACADEMICALS
to say, not a lot happened last season, with Spencer Gore taking over the 7th
team captaincy and having little time to devote to the job. The Christmas club
function happened but the end of season was celebrated by the individual sides
on separate days. The 1st XI held a formal dinner, the 5th
XI did the Monopoly board pub crawl and all other sides had an end of season do,
but nothing club-wide.
is a fairly crucial question for the Accies. Ten years ago the club was
essentially comprised of six separate “clubs within clubs”. Each was a
clique of people “playing with their mates”. The downside of this was
twofold – first we never won anything (contrast the club’s 6 trophies in
five seasons in the 1980’s, 5 trophies in the ten seasons of the 1990’s and
12 trophies in the five seasons of the 2000’s) and secondly the influx of
students from UCL ground to a near halt. Our estimate of UCL alumni playing in
the 3rds/4ths/5ths/6ths in 1998 was two, with the core aging and the club
effectively heading towards extinction!
remains the life-blood of the Accies. I would never argue that the club should
be “closed” (hardly any AFA club is closed nowadays) but we are here to
“provide football for UCL Alumni and their friends”. Students from UCL ought
to be able to join the Accies and play at their standard, not necessarily with
the one or two people that they know beforehand. You soon get to know your new
this is a weakness of the club. If we all lived in and around Clapham, and our
ground was in Clapham, then inevitably you’d get much of the club there in the
evening, and you’d see your mates before and after a game, even if you
didn’t play in the same match as them. However, we don’t – Shenley isn’t
a buzzing social place (!), and inevitably people head back in London soon after
games and dissipate.
Gore had stepped down as Social Secretary prior to the AGM, but with no-one else
standing he agreed to continue, albeit warning that he still didn’t have time
to do much – if a replacement appears during the season he’d be more than
welcome to take over.
was agreed Spencer would investigate an end of season club dinner, quite
possibly in UCL. This would require commitment (financial) from people up front
– the club don’t have the resources to subsidise this (at present).
would also investigate reviving the tradition of having one night a month as
“Accies night” in the UCL Students Union. DMc to talk to “the younger
element” regarding which day of the week/month would be most suitable.
following were all proposed, unopposed, 21 days in advance of the AGM, unless
otherwise indicated, and duly elected:
– Danny McConnell
Chairman – Mark Dawson
– Derek Fowler
Secretary – Danny McConnell
Secretary – Mark Dawson
Secretary – Spencer Gore (elected on the evening)
Secretary – Mark Dawson/Danny McConnell
– Bobby Butlin
XI Captain/Manager – Mark McGuigan
XI Captain/Manager – Danny Fewkes
XI Captain/Manager – vacant (subsequently Phil Stewart was elected, to be
assisted by Scott Atkinson)
XI Captain/Manager – Dan Willoughby
XI Captain/Manager – Rob James
XI Captain/Manager – Bobby Butlin
XI Captain/Manager – Spencer Gore
XI Captain – Ian Christopherson
continued difficulty in finding new officers remains a concern. On the one hand
we all know we’re a club of busy, professional people, but on the other hand
too many people cause too much hassle for those who do the organizing, making it
less appealing for them, and less appealing for successors.
The club also needs to be aware that its key officers
will not be around forever. One of the strengths of the Accies over the last six
years has been the centralisation of organisation, but this is a potential
weakness as well. There’s a critical point of failure we need to be aware of.
The secretary reported that over the last twelve
months he’d found myself sometimes struggling with various elements of things,
whether it be basic paperwork (chasing up the same people for the n’th time
for something) or bigger elements of club management. It may be in a year’s
time that he’d suggest someone takes over the Club Secretary job (dealing with
the basic paperwork between the club and the county, as distinct from the nitty
gritty of running the club), something we foresaw some time ago when we
officially split the positions of Club Chairman and Club Secretary.
Whether the club needs to have occasional committee
meetings to keep everyone in the loop is something we need to consider, though
it would place an extra time burden on busy officers. To be considered by the
committee closer to the start of the season.
On the positive side, thanks must go to this year’s
skippers and other officers. Dan Chantler has hopefully laid the groundwork for
the club finances working efficiently, and Mark Dawson has done his usual superb
job with fixtures, as well as the less visible job of keeping the Secretary sane
(and in his “Attila the Hun” moments, calm!). The skippers have done a good
job of chasing players and managing their teams and without them we’d be
nowhere. Thanks to both Jon Houghton and Scott Atkinson, stepping down.
continuing influx of ex-UCL players is good, but needs to be continued, and the
onus inevitably falls on the youngest members. We do get our pitches at a
significantly reduced rate because we’re a UCL Alumni club, and we ought to do
our best to maximise the number of UCL Alumni.
the Mandy Walker games in summer 2004 we decided to abandon the 11-a-side game
and simply concentrate on the 5-a-side tournament, which continued to be a major
success. The question we need to address is whether we want some sort of
11-a-side. At the 2003 AGM we decided to try and organise two games in the
spring, under lights, but these foundered because come March the Accies are busy
with cup finals and title runs.
was agreed to make a decision during the season according to how our fixture
position looks come spring 2005.
In 2003-04 the club reached AFA Disciplinary Stage 1
for the first time in our history, triggering a fine from the AFA, and our
continued pattern of increased indiscipline continues.
The club needs to make a decision about what it wants
to do with discipline. On the one hand, it’s safe to argue that a certain
number of cards “go with the territory”, particularly with two sides playing
Senior football and most sides playing quite a few cup games (which tend to
attract “better officials”).
On the flip-side, we continue to have a number of
“silly cards” – dissent, abusing referees, deliberate tripping of
opponents, posturing. The attitude to them also seems to be worsening:- to name
just a handful of thumbnail sketches from the season – the 3rds betting on
who’d get bookings, a player sent off for a second cautionable offence of
dissent, a player cautioned for a
reckless challenge (diving in) after the referee had already penalised perhaps a
dozen such challenges. None of these are about football, they’re about
individual stupidity. I’m not trying to nail individuals, simply illustrating
the general attitude.
Far too many players seemed to quibble with bookings
(“it’s not my fault”, “I’m not going to change the way I play”) and
the secretary seems to spend far too much time chasing up the paperwork for
The general opinion (though not consensual) was that
the club didn’t have a serious discipline problem and that we should continue
to monitor it. A one game suspension for a third caution during the season and a
season suspension for a fourth caution was felt to be excessive and the
Disciplinary Code should be modified accordingly.
The whole Disciplinary Code should be revised prior
to next year’s AGM and should be an agenda item.
8. ANY OTHER
There was a long discussion regarding club policy on
selection and integration of players, particularly (but not exclusively) with
regard to the 7th XI.
At the start of last season the Accies expanded to
seven sides, all at rather short notice and with the indulgence of the league.
Over the last five years we have had a steady influx of new players, but with
the Accies ca 1999 generally being a club of aging players there had been no
problem accommodating newcomers. However, the age profile is now generally (but
not exclusively!) much lower, and we found ourselves with too many players to
fit into six sides.
The sevenths began playing at Donkey Lane, Enfield,
paying reduced match fees, as Shenley couldn’t provide the extra pitches at
short notice, although the college did a superb job in making this only last
until January. This did however tend to foster an “outsider mentality”. In
addition the side showed many of the characteristics of a “rebuilding lower
side” with a significant turnover of players whilst the captain, Spencer Gore,
tried to get a settled team of players of suitable standard.
At the same time, Spencer managed to do a good job of
recruiting ex-UCL players who for various reasons had left, or never joined the
Fairly inevitably, this has created a situation where
the team has some players who are probably too good to be playing 7th
team standard, but players who tend to want to play with the people they know.
There was a long discussion regarding this whole
situation – on the one hand we are an amateur club, people want to play with
their friends and so forth, whilst on the other the club is about running seven
sides, and people should expect to make themselves available for the club, and
not one particular side (equally importantly, league rules require us to run
this week). The general opinion was that this must continue – as far as
possible we should run as a club, with players playing for sides based on merit,
and not have cliques.
Equally, it was agreed that the policy of “regulars
before irregulars” should continue. Our commitment should be towards players
who are available for 75% of fixtures (ideally 90% for goalkeepers). Players who
are not available as regularly as this should not take priority over regular
players, even if they happen to be better footballers.
Sam Samra, about the only person who played for both
sides last season, was of the opinion that the 7ths might well be better than
the 6ths (and certainly younger) and it was agreed that in pre-season we needed
to ensure a proper integration of the sides, and that people were playing in the
The meeting was closed at 9.20pm
You will find below a copy of a letter sent to the
AFA in December. This report on the match was composed by myself having received
individual reports from the whole of the 5th team following the game.
In March 2004 (having lost the report for three
months) the AFA decided not to take any action after the referee failed to
submit a supporting report, but once this letter came to the attention of the
AFC (which it couldn’t until the AFA had deliberated) various other reports on
Old Camdenians 4ths also surfaced. At a league meeting in April 2004 the team
were thrown out of the league, and the AFA have now charged the club as well.
I don’t include this to nail Camdenians, but as an
illustration of what can go wrong, as well as a report on the most serious
incident I’ve come across in twenty years of Saturday football with UCL and
the Accies (though, sadly, I have
been involved in worse on a Sunday morning).
That the case has taken over six months to progress
is a concern, and with a league/county hat on remains one of my greatest areas
of interest. Partly it’s because the AFA lost our letter for some months,
partly because the referee wasn’t strong enough to submit a report (or indeed,
apparently, be aware of what happened).Whether there was also a factor that the
Accies have a well known reputation as a “club who wind up opposition” (at
least at 1st XI level, which is all most of the AFA are interested
in) I don’t know – I hope not!
We do play to win, but there are more important
U.C.L. ACADEMICALS F.C.
Sec.: Danny McConnell, PO Box 605, Bromley, Kent, BR2 0YQ. Tel: 020-8325-2448.
Islington Park Street
John Monk (Hon. Secretary, Amateur Football Combination)
3rd December 2003
am writing with regard to the AFA Senior Novets Cup fixture played last
Saturday, 30th November, at our London Colney ground between UCL
Academicals 5th XI and Old Camdenians 4th XI, refereed by
Fredrick Gunnell and won 2-1 by Old Camdenians after extra time.
played in this game myself and can honestly say that in my twenty years of
senior football I have never witnessed such disgraceful behaviour as we suffered
on Saturday at the hands of Old Camdenians.
the outset of the game our players, substitutes and the referee were subjected
to a continual barrage of abuse, general, racist and violent from Camdenians,
particularly from those on the touchline. Camdenians had half a dozen people on
the sideline, three of them substitutes, including a “manager” and other
game itself was a hard fought match, with tackles flying in on both sides,
doubtless stoked up by the verbals which did literally start from the first
minute, and as this went unchecked it got worse and worse. Equally it was played
in wet windy conditions, with a quarter final of the AFA Cup at stake, so one
would expect a hard fought competitive game.
the second half we had two pitch invasions from their touchline, the first after
a perceived foul by one of our players (dealt with by the referee) who was
confronted by a number of Camdenians players, substitutes and spectators, the
second when the referee dismissed one of the Camdenians players (we’re not
sure why, it could have been for preventing a goal-scoring opportunity, serious
foul play, or foul and abusive language – clearly this will be in the
this stage onwards the abuse was absolutely continuous, and of an overt racist
nature towards some of our players; Sajeed Malik, Ethu Crorie and Adam Mammon.
Comments included “You dirty monkey”, “Fuck him and his chicken tikka
masala”, “Chicken tikka masala won’t even look at me”, “Why don’t
you fuck off home”, “Why don’t you fuck off back to Bombay where you came
from” and “Who let the Paki score” (when we equalised in the final minute
of normal time).
was also the more typical (alas) general abuse, “you dirty cunt”, “take
his knees out”, “when we come on we’re going to break your legs” and so
halfway through the second half, one of the Camdenians walked behind my
goal-mouth, and with the ball fifty yards away quite calmly told me “if this
carries on, some of you guys are going to be getting a knife in the
stomach." I ignored the comment. "Seriously, and I might be doing
it" he added. At the time I found this distinctly frightening, as it seemed
to be no idle threat – this was not a heat of the moment comment, he was quite
calm and calculated.
hindsight, I wish at that moment I had called the referees’ attention and
asked him to abandon the game. Unfortunately, I was not at that stage aware of
the nature of the abuse that was flying around, stuck in a goal mouth with a
30mph wind blowing across the pitch much of it didn’t come to my attention
until after the game. I could hear there was abuse, but not the wording.
game then proceeded into extra time, as we equalised in the final minute of
normal time. At this stage I asked one of our players who had been substituted
to go to our 2nd or 4th XI pitches (both sides also had
AFA Cup games) and ask one of the referees on those to come over and observe the
extra time period once their games had finished. I was relieved that from the 4th
XI pitch Robert Baxter did so, and he stayed on the sideline for the remainder
of the Extra Time period.
did this simply to cover all bases – to add a second pair of neutral eyes in
case the referee needed assistance (which I rather expected), and for the
protection of the referee and our players. To an extent it worked, as the abuse
from the sideline during the extra time period somewhat subsided (albeit to a
still unacceptable level).
through the second extra time period Camdenians scored the goal that proved to
be the winner, provoking yet another pitch invasion. I am afraid to say that I
only felt relief at the goal, as I am sure that their winning the game ensured
that nothing serious happened afterwards. Had we won the game, I dread to think
what would have happened.
far as the referee is concerned, I think the fairest summary would be to say
that he didn’t cope very well with an impossible situation. During the second
half and extra time he should probably have abandoned the game, but what the
consequences might have been don’t bear thinking about. Only the referee can
confirm whether this was the case, but I truly believe that this game should not
have been completed.
the game I spoke at length to the referee, as well as to Robert Baxter, and
thanked them both for their efforts. I hope that Mr Gunnell will also send in a
full report, though Mr Baxter suggested he hadn’t seen enough of the game to
comment, though if asked I’m sure he would make a report on what he did see.
For the record, one Camdenian player was dismissed, and no player from UCL
Academicals was even cautioned.
should also like to note that as far as I am aware, this behaviour is not
typical of Old Camdenians as a club. We have already played their 3rd
XI three times this season (once in a pre-season friendly, twice in league
matches) and all games have been “typical AFA” games without incident. I
understand from comments on Saturday however that their 4th XI is a
“club within a club” and indeed they claimed to us that they are actually
stronger than their 2nd and 3rd XI’s, but the club
“won’t let them move up”.
they are a team fielded by Old Camdenians, and the club should be held
responsible for their behaviour. This behaviour has no place on any football
pitch, let alone an AFA pitch, and is not what we expect from our Saturdays.
conclusion, I am writing to draw to your attention to what I feel to be
unacceptable behaviour from the Old Camdenians IV team in an AFA cup tie.
particular I refer to the aggressive and threatening behaviour of the Camdenians
players (which includes a threat of personal violence to me), plus the clear and
unacceptable racial abuse from the Camdenians players and the encroachment or
invasion onto the pitch by Camdenians supporters.
we were most unhappy with the general unpleasant, threatening, intimidating and
aggressive behaviour of the team and their supporters.
would welcome your comments and advice on what action you may be contemplating
to deal with this matter.
McConnell (Hon. Sec. and Chairman, UCL Academicals F.C.).