Night Pitch and Footballs

Football Clubs vote in favour to unite League and Governing Body

Joe Smith
A Landmark day in Jersey Football as Clubs vote in favour to unite the League and Governing Body.

"A Landmark day in Jersey Football as Clubs vote in favour to unite the League and Governing Body."

The Jersey Football Combination and Jersey Football Association took a seismic first step to unite as one entity on Friday night. The 16 member Clubs making up the Jersey Football League voted a landslide 16-0 in favour of uniting the League and Governing Body. The historic vote was made by the Clubs at the League Committee meeting on 31st August, following a proposal made by the JFA to the JFC and its Clubs.

The vote means an in principle agreement has been made by the Clubs to start work on developing a framework to merge the Jersey Football Combination and Jersey Football Association into one entity from the start of the 2019-20 season. 

After many years of challenges to Jersey football, the rationale to join up is aimed to strengthen the game in the island and better support our Clubs. With increasing costs of running football, loss of league sponsorship and declining numbers of volunteers, it was suggested, joining forces and combining JFA & JFC efforts was logical and would provide all stakeholders with an easier path to progress Jersey football in future.

The initial proposal outlined the benefits of the League working as part of the JFA, whilst retaining the personnel and historic significance of the Jersey Football Combination, which dates back over 4 decades. The draft framework detailed the following;

- JFC and Clubs to join the JFA for the start of 2019/20 season;
- JFC President and 1 board member to join the JFA board;
- Establish a new Competitions Committee, within the JFA with equal representation;
- Existing JFC functions (Fixture & Registration Secretaries) to be retained and overseen by the Competition Committee;
- Treasury and Finance Director Functions to be consolidated;
- Disband Council;
- Rules and Regulations to be reviewed, amalgamated and updated in line with FA Rules and Regulations, with local rules consulted upon as appropriate;
- Existing league and Cup competition formats to be reviewed and updated to plan for growth and sustainability;
- Introduction of Futsal to all Clubs wishing to play, to improve participation numbers and player technique;
- League Sponsor to be identified and secured to ensure the leagues have funding for the benefit of Clubs;
- League Sponsorship to be allocated to all Clubs and distributed, based on several criteria, such as league position, Club compliance, disciplinary records, pitch maintenance, qualified coaches, numbers of teams, scratching record and Charter Standard.

Jean-Luc Desbois Head Shot
"This is one of the most significant developments for Jersey football in decades. It is both humbling and massively motivating that the Clubs decided to embark of this road to unity and change. I would like to thank them all and the numerous volunteers who dedicate their time to Jersey football. Bringing the League and JFA together will make Jersey football stronger, more cohesive and better resourced. This will enable us to help our Clubs to prosper and develop greater numbers of footballers in future. I would also like to extend my thanks to the Jersey Football Combination Executive Committee and their President, Charlie Browne, who has stood alongside me and advocated this strategic move."
- Jersey FA Chief Executive Officer Jean-Luc Desbois

Although the vote is non-binding at this stage, it is the first step to unifying the two organisations. Representatives from the JFA and JFC will work together on drafting the new framework, which will take approximately 8-10 weeks. This will be presented to the Clubs at a Special General Meeting, where another vote (a resolution) will be taken to agree the proposed framework, changes in constitution and other rules of the JFC. There are also likely to be changes to the memorandum and articles of association of the JFA and its rules, and this too will require member approval at a JFA EGM. Both meetings will be notified to the Clubs with the required notice periods. Clubs will be involved every step of the way with monthly meetings planned to present progress reports. Small working groups will be formed to ensure the road map for Jersey football represents the views of its stakeholders.

 Jersey Combination President said: "We have many fond memories of from the Combination over many years. Now is the right time to join forces with the JFA to help the Clubs and develop the game in Jersey. I am confident our partnership, working with Jean-Luc, the JFA staff and Exec, will deliver exiting times and more positive memories for our football community."

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