Information for new clubs wishing to join the West Kent Sunday Football League


Updated April 2020

This information is a guide only. Take time to download and read a copy of the current Rules here to familiarise yourselves with the rules by which the League operates. Any questions about your application should be raised with the General Secretary.

You are encouraged to consult us about joining the League, its benefits and possible problem areas, before formalising your application. You may be invited to a meeting or meetings to discuss your plans.

Membership of the League is open to clubs whose playing headquarters is within a 20 mile radius of Tunbridge Wells Railway Station. Map.

The cost of starting a club from scratch will possibly be as much as 800 - 1000 once kit is taken into account. Annual running costs - pitch fees, referee fees, new footballs, first aid kit etc etc will be several hundred pounds. You almost certainly need a good sponsor! From a former club secretaries point of view, I would absolutely make sure that you get a serious amount of money from your players well before the season starts. This could be either as an annual subscription or payment of match fees in advance. That helps cash flow no end!

The League takes a very close look at all applications. You will be asked many questions and will often be asked to provide documentary evidence in answer.

Applications

An initial entry fee of 150 for each team is payable with the application. In addition an annual subscription of 100 is payable if the application is successful. The entry fee is repaid in the event the club or team is not admitted to the League.

Applications must be made on the official form obtainable from the League General Secretary as above.

Reserve or Third Teams

Application from existing clubs for Reserve or Third teams must also be submitted by 1st May using the forms as above. Costs apart (you will already be affiliated to the appropriate County FA) the issues are much the same as for new clubs.

County FA Affiliations

All clubs must be affiliated to the appropriate County Football Association not later than 15th July. BEFORE you apply to join this League, you should contact your County FA to establish the fees and charges and obtain the relevant forms. These fees are in addition to those you will have to pay to this League.

Players

Players must be 16 years of age or older. You will be asked to give us a list of potential players at the time of application. 'Poaching' players from existing clubs is not acceptable. Also, please be aware that, although it sounds very bureaucratic, you may need to obtain international clearance if you are proposing to include foreign nationals, including those who may have previously played in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. After all, they may be suspended by their national FA! Please check with the County FA or FA itself about this if in any doubt.

The official International Clearance information is at http://www.thefa.com/football-rules-governance/policies/player-registration/international-clearance and there is a lot of it.

All players must be properly registered in accordance with League Rule 8. You must have registered at last twelve (12) players THREE WEEKS prior to the start of the season on the first Sunday in September.

Pitches

Your club must provide, with the application, positive evidence that it has a pitch to use which is of an acceptable standard. If you are thinking of using the facilities provided by Tonbridge and Malling Council, Tunbridge Wells Council or Paddock Wood Council you should discuss this with the League at the earliest opportunity. The League has first call on the allocation of these pitches.

If you are proposing to share a pitch with an existing club you will be asked provide confirmation of an agreement with them.

All pitches must have secure changing facilities for players and officials to a standard acceptable to the League. If yours is a facility unknown to the League, it will be inspected as part of your application.

The League has no objection to the use of synthetic grass (3G or 4G) pitches, but these MUST be on the Football Association's list of approved pitches. The foregoing requirements must also be complied with.

Finances and Insurance

All clubs must have a correctly administered bank account. The use of personal bank accounts for football business is strongly discouraged! All payments to the League and by the League are by cheque or electronic transfer. We do not deal in cash.

Your attention is drawn to League Rule 15 concerning club financial accounts and Rule 16 concerning Public Liability and Personal Aciddent Insurance. The County FA also has the power to scrutinise club accounts.

Public Liability Insurance is compulsory and a payment is included in County FA fees. You should check whether it is adequate for the pitch and facilities you intend to use.

You are urged to advise your players, particularly those who are self-employed, to ensure they have adequate personal injury and accident insurance. Clubs can pay into various schemes or players can make individual arrangements to suit their circumstances. The payouts from insurance schemes funded within the County FA charges are minimal.

Be aware that the League will not act as a debt-collector in the event of players owing money. One simple rule helps - don't pay, don't play next week!

Committee

The club should have a properly constituted committee to run its affairs. A 'one man band' is unlikely to gain acceptance by the League.

Correspondence, Internet and Email

The official business of the league is conducted by correspondence. Email is used to reduce costs and it is now essential that your club provides an email address through which official business (for example sending fixture lists or invoices) may be conducted. Results and league tables are published on the website every Monday morning throughout the season.

Player Registration 'on line' using the FA 'Whole Game' system will soon be mandatory. It is therefore essential that your club has members willing and able to use it!

The website www.wksl.org.uk is used to keep everyone informed, but the conduct of official business is in accordance with the rules in force.

Annual General Meeting

The 2020 AGM, at which your club MUST be represented, will be on Thursday June 18th at the Six in One Club, Tonbridge, start 8pm. You must be signed in before that time, so plan to arrive a little earlier.