Over the past season, Northumberland FA have dealt with numerous complaints linked to outstanding and unpaid subscriptions in junior football. In many cases, this has led to the transfers of young people being unduly held up and children in essence being held accountable for unpaid subscriptions or outstanding debt of which the majority have no way of influencing. This also extends to kit, which in many cases subscriptions contribute towards the purchasing of.
The FA Rules and Regulations in regards to Football Debt Recovery Regulations defines an ‘Alleged Debtor’ as “a Player (except Players who are under 18 years old and play in an Under 18 Competition), Club Official, Manager, Match Official, Management Committee Member, or member or employee of a Club which allegedly owes a Football Debt to an Alleged Creditor.” This definition is clear that no child can be held accountable for unpaid debt within junior football. No club, therefore, should be requesting that the league they participate in does not allow the transfer of a young person due to outstanding debt.
Clubs should protect themselves from these potential issues through having set rules within their club constitutions – for example – ‘A member whose annual membership fee or further subscription is more than two (2) months in arrears shall be deemed to have resigned.’
We would urge, however, that now more than ever, we should be mindful of the financial predicament faced by many families as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we hope to be able to release information about an upcoming relief project in the coming weeks.