Big news indeed, and also news for which it remains to be seen if it is good or bad.
And just to build the suspense a little more, I’d say that the event has occurred earlier in the timeline of this club…Okay, I probably gave it away by mentioning it’s relation to the timeline of the club, and if not it was definitely a massive clue. But anyway, here it is:
Yes we’ve turned semi-professional, and if I’m honest, it came as quite a surprise to me. Partly because we’re actually only in the Mid Sussex Football League Division 4 which is level 17 of the English football system. But also because I went to the board to request that we turn semi-professional not too long ago and their response was that it wouldn’t be considered due to the fact that it would compromise the financial security of the club.
And that leads me nicely onto my reservations about the decision, chief of which is the financial side, namely wages and appearance fees. Whilst it seems like most of the current players and staff are happy to stay on their free amateur contracts for this season, I have had a reminder about contracts expiring at the end of this season which implies to me that they will want some payments for their services from next season. Also I have since tried to sign players since the transition to semi-professional status, and all new attempted additions to the squad are demanding appearance fees in their contracts.
Typically players at a similar level to those already at the club are asking for between £150-£230 (appearance fees) roughly and to build a balanced squad with a fair wage system, that isn’t a sustainable figure for this club. However, I have managed to pick up a few good youngsters for around the £20-£30 mark which is more sensible I believe.
On a plus note, I now earn wages! A massive £20p/w to be exact. The board’s opening offer was actually £25p/w but at this stage, the club’s financial safety is more important than earning the big bucks.
And as of this moment, there’s really not much more to say because we’ll need to wait and see whether the semi-professional status will help or hinder us, let’s hope it’s the former.
Join me next time to find out the fate of our Mid Sussex Football League Division 4 campaign…