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Promises, promises

Veterans League


I have reproduced two paragraphs from the Veterans League Management Committee email sent out last week to Club Representatives .

In July 2022 the Management Committee agreed to balance the divisions from the 14,14,12,12 and 10 format of previous seasons and informed clubs of this decision. We advised clubs that 2 promotions from each division would be honoured and that it was likely that more teams would be relegated but that depended upon the number of teams registering in 2023. In 2024, assuming a similar number of 10-man teams participate it is our intention to equalise the number of teams in each division. Two teams will be promoted and at least two teams will be relegated. This gives all team captains notice that finishing third or fourth bottom is no guarantee of survival (except in Division 5).


So in their own words, they said in July last year that it was 'agreed to balance the divisions and that it is likely that more teams would be relegated'.


However, when it came to the crunch they failed to do that even though the perfect opportunity presented itself with a nice round number of 60 teams signed up. Five divisions of 12 teams would have fulfilled their declared intention but they backed away from their own promise.


It is widely known that one team bought their survival by threatening to withdraw their £400 sponsorship of the League if their team was relegated. It worked for them. If the format had been five divisions of 12 teams then that team would have been relegated. I wonder how much a promotion costs?


Now this Management Committee has made the same promise again for next year. The wording is slightly different as they are now calling it 'to equalise the number of teams in each division'. I'm not sure that anyone believes them anymore because when big decisions have to be made they continue to distance themselves from their own promises.


It is clear that they never had any intent to 'balance the number of teams in each division' for the 2023 season. Their four divisions model didn't 'balance the number of teams in each division' and neither did their second attempt in a five divisions model. They had every opportunity to deliver what they said they would do but failed to do it, so why are they saying it again this year when their track record tells us that it will never happen? There should be no need to say again that they are going to do it. It should already have been done.

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People may well think that I am being a bit pedantic here but based on the two paragraphs being quoted above I think an argument can be made that the Vets Management Committee have not broken any promises. In the first paragraph they did say in July 2022 that they “agreed to balance the divisions” but they do not appear to say that they are going to do this in 2023. Perhaps this was said elsewhere. Indeed it can be argued that the format that they have now agreed on for 2023 is a step towards balancing the divisions. This is what they appear to be saying, in the second paragraph, is going to happen in 2024 and this time…

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