The following post has been taken from the Sunday Central Facebook page. With permission of its author who is one of the most involved and experienced guys in amateur football, I think it’s important to share it on the blog.
I’ve been involved in football committees since the age of sixteen. I started my own team as I couldn’t get a game for anyone (I was pish) and after three weeks of starting my own team I was on the bench. At that point, as a committee it was fly by night stuff, no one helped ,no one told us where we were going wrong until it went wrong.
Through the years I learned more and more and I was able to feed it back to my club, ensuring the fines were reducing.
Finally I joined our leagues committee. In truth it had been ran by two guys for years and they were eager to get another fool on board. I learned lots of things that I could take back to my club and my club really did start heading in the right direction. This is where my rant starts to come in. I ended up league secretary in 1998. The accusations started flying in that I was benefitting myself, that the referees favoured me, that I was corrupt.
Yes, my team benefitted from the experience I was gaining in how to do things properly, it helped me when trying to find sponsors as I sounded like I knew what I was talking about.
… don’t get me started, they still hated me. I used to get booked in the dressing room and if I opened my mouth at the side of the park I was off. There will still be a few refs who remember that and if they are reading this they will have a wee chuckle to themselves.
Pretty soon I was doing the job of treasurer, secretary, registrations secretary until I then ended up doing the whole lot myself. The guys had got the dummy to take over. The truth is that I loved it, in fact I thrived on it. It was the first thing in football I was really good at. I then introduced new ideas, photo teamlines, player id (before the SAFA did it)
I introduced the return of funds at the end of every season to the clubs. At that point it was £40 now its £200 that goes directly back to each club each season.
I managed to eventually pull a really good committee around me to the extent that I now oversee events without having to be too involved. Unfortunately they get the same treatment as I did in the beginning. Even after all these years people still say that they are only in it for themselves, that they get the rub of the green from refs, that they are corrupt. That last one really, really, really pisses me off. They burst their asses to ensure clubs have a good, well run league to play in. They arrange the parks for finals, medals, refs etc, they even act as counselors at times for the people in our game and give an open ear to anyone who needs it. Essentially they are amateur football social workers!
So why be involved in a committee?
Who should do it?
I do it because it keeps me involved in something I really used to enjoy. That enjoyment is slowly and surely getting taken from us The clubs (some of them) still call us corrupt, still say we are only in it for our own benefit, saying we are against them… it’s the same ones all the time, you know the ones that think they can play Alex Ferguson mind games, the ones that think that the World owes them something, fuck, I even seen a quote last week that committees are there to serve the clubs!!!!
We do this because we want to, because helping is what we do, because we know some idiot needs to step up to the mark.
So to the managers that are reading this… do you feel your players are always 100% behind everything you do? That they will always back you or do you feel that some of them really just only care about themselves? Be honest and if your answer is yes they are completely behind you then all the best.
We are all volunteers please don’t forget that. Most of us are involved because we have had or do have clubs. Please just have a thought of the free time that we give up, the missed family occasions and everything else that goes with it. Managers will get back the amount of time they invest, your league secretaries, registration guys, match secretaries and discipline secretaries effectively do this as a second job, for roughly £300 a year (couldn’t get anywhere near minimum wage) guys please just consider the time, effort and sacrifice that goes into running a league committee.
We do it because we love football !!!
The Committee Man