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I didn't want to resurrect this old thread from June 2018 however I am surprised there was not more discussion on the subject that Buck Rogers raised at the time, namely do Club's know enough about the subject of Ground Grading and what their Grading is, particularly those who actually want promotion and intend applying for it, unlike your Harefield United's, London Colney's and Tring Athletic's for example who are content to remain as Step 5 Club's as the latter's former Chairman Howard Wells readily admitted. Anyway the two links below are very helpful guidelines. At the SSML Management Board on 21 January this year it was noted 'that the required ground inspections had taken place apart from one which would be rearranged in due course and the various inspection reports would be considered by the Committee when it next met', I am assuming this has still to be done for the 2020/21 campaign as the Ground Grading deadline was moved from 31 March to 31 July:

http://fulltime-league.thefa.com/DisplayNews.do;jsessionid=E1CA60E7A6EA099F2649C22EC48E0E72?noticePlacementID=969854609&noticeID=589739415&league=522238936

http://www.thepyramid.info/misc/ground.htm

 

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Buck Rogers didn't get many replys did he 😉

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He must have felt like he was banging his head against a brick wall, a bit like Karen when she suddenly stopped posting fixtures and results in December 2018 after many years, it takes a lot for Karen to throw in the towel.

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Enfield Til It Died - Well some old threads are still relevant such as this one about Cotlandswick before London Colney went on to win the SSML Premier Division Championship in 2017, someone asked whether the ground was up to Step 4 standard for the following season and also whether the Club had actually applied for promotion. According to one of Karen's trusted sources of information, or spies, London Colney failed their inspection in 2015/16 on outside access to toilets and the turnstile had no electricity so that was fairly easily rectified however the Club declined the opportunity of promotion due to the fact they would have gone into the Ryman League Division One North when their preferred option was, for some strange reason, the Southern League Division One Central, Chairman at the time Jim Nicholls then threw his toys out of the pram and appealed the decision but it was not upheld by the FA so they decided to remain in the SSML. I don't know whether that was the reason why Mr Nicholls then decided to immediately up sticks and walk away from Cotlandswick taking four key Committee members with him, Manager Joe Sweeney also left with most of the Championship winning squad and the Club, founded in 1907, almost folded:

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

At this afternoon's meeting (19 June) between the FA and Step 5 and 6 leagues (summary below), Ground Grading was discussed:

Ground Grading: The FA have built into the temporary changes to regulations some flexibility regarding ground grading dates, whilst no specific date or rule has been changed, the FA stated that it is “Not the intention to relegate any clubs for work that Covid has meant they have been unable to do.” 

https://www.swpleague.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/SUMMARY-OF-FA-MEETING-TODAY-WITH-STEP-5.pdf

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Part of an interesting interview between the Non League Paper and Laurence Jones, Head of The National League System, ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, the information on Ground Grading should still be current.

https://www.thenonleaguefootballpaper.com/features/25749/football-matters-league-restructuring-ground-grading-and-player-registration-issues-explained/

GROUND GRADING

Our vision is to modernise and raise standards. There is work being done to give it more teeth but we have got to give clubs greater support in ground grading. Clubs also have a responsibility at this level of the game to meet the criteria being set.
The hot topic at the moment is the size of dressing rooms at Steps 3 and 4. That change to the ground grading criteria took place back in 2014. We are working closely with the leagues and the vast majority at Step 3 and 4 meet the criteria.
A number of clubs are working with the leagues to ensure they comply by March 31 or we have extended the deadline to July 31 if those clubs can demonstrate that the right things such planning permission, grant applications are in place.
The reality is, however, that extensions expire, but we desperately don’t want to see clubs relegated through ground grading issues.
Funding to is available to avoid this through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, managed by the Football Foundation. Support from the leagues is on offer and ground grading officers are available to advise. Suffice to say we’re here to support the clubs too.
We are awaiting the leagues’ latest update, but the numbers being quoted and the number of clubs who actually have a serious challenge are not as high as have been suggested of late.
A variation of the same question often comes up – why does this even matter?
There’s a wider context to ground grading across the National League System. It shouldn’t just be about meeting the minimum criteria but done in such a way, with the grants that are available, to help clubs raise standards.
People who pay to watch football, want to watch football in good facilities. We’ve got to look at how we can help clubs achieve that. It’s all about raising standards. If we can get the ground and stadium stock to a certain standard, that is going to make it more attractive to people to come and watch football at this level of the game.
When you talk about compliance and the old adage that’s bandied around of, ‘Why have we got to have X amount of seats when we don’t need them?’, what people tend to forget is it’s a progressive model where, when you’re looking to move up the leagues or go into the English Football League and fortunate enough to be in that position at a later stage, you’ve not had to face a large financial investment in one go. It’s been a progressive investment.
If a club is going from Step 5 to Step 4, for example, and that gap is too big, the demands in terms of grading are too big, then those clubs are really going to struggle to meet the criteria. We need to avoid putting the clubs in an unfair position.
Our aim is to get better at linking ground grading to funding. That’s one of our big challenges strategically. We understand the challenges. Money is tight and it is hard sometimes to raise standards in grounds that are very historic. We do recognise that but you’ve got to have a minimum criterion at this level of the game.
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An interesting thread on Ground Grading from a number of years ago, it is not so much the norm these days is it for Club's to share their ground with cricket Club's early on in a campaign, I remember it was always a big issue with Hoddesdon Town when they were in the SSML particularly if they were drawn at home in the early FA Cup and FA Vase rounds:

There are requirements as laid out in the FA ground grading manual , but this league of ours do not insist every club complies , there are at least 6 clubs in the premier division that fail on more than 1 thing, and some on much more , Hatfield, london tigers , holmer green are nowhere near complying , and cockfosters were relagated because of ground grading issues and i dont think to much has changed, the ground sharing issues are not dealt with consistently, lease details are not properly checked and when problems arise it causes problems to clubs who maintain and carry all the expense of having your own ground.

 

Edited by Rhodes
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On 19/05/2020 at 20:58, Rhodes said:

I didn't want to resurrect this old thread from June 2018 however I am surprised there was not more discussion on the subject that Buck Rogers raised at the time, namely do Club's know enough about the subject of Ground Grading and what their Grading is, particularly those who actually want promotion and intend applying for it, unlike your Harefield United's, London Colney's and Tring Athletic's for example who are content to remain as Step 5 Club's as the latter's former Chairman Howard Wells readily admitted. Anyway the two links below are very helpful guidelines. At the SSML Management Board on 21 January this year it was noted 'that the required ground inspections had taken place apart from one which would be rearranged in due course and the various inspection reports would be considered by the Committee when it next met', I am assuming this has still to be done for the 2020/21 campaign as the Ground Grading deadline was moved from 31 March to 31 July:

http://fulltime-league.thefa.com/DisplayNews.do;jsessionid=E1CA60E7A6EA099F2649C22EC48E0E72?noticePlacementID=969854609&noticeID=589739415&league=522238936

http://www.thepyramid.info/misc/ground.htm

 

Yes no replies for Buck Rogers it must have really upset him as he last visited the fans focus forum not long after he started the above topic 😃

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On ‎20‎/‎05‎/‎2020 at 01:17, Rhodes said:

At the SSML Management Board on 21 January this year it was noted 'that the required ground inspections had taken place apart from one which would be rearranged in due course and the various inspection reports would be considered by the Committee when it next met', I am assuming this has still to be done for the 2020/21 campaign as the Ground Grading deadline was moved from 31 March to 31 July

I expect this, amongst many other things, will become much clearer after Saturday's SSML AGM as right now we are all just whistling in the wind aren't we and haven't got a clue what is going on.

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  • 4 weeks later...

At the 46 minute SSML Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 27 June a question was raised at the end about revising and updating the current ground inspection guidance, it was a good question as it has always been quite 'hit and miss' hasn't it:

  1. QUESTIONS

Ground Inspections

In answer to a question about revising and updating the current guidance, Tony Weight replied this was to be discussed in the near future by the Respect, Discipline and Referees’ Committee.

https://www.spartansouthmidlandsleague.co.uk/ssml-agm-minutes/

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  • 4 weeks later...

There's an interesting thread on another Forum that's discussing Ground Grading and Ground Sharing with a view to which Club's at Step Seven level will be in a position to gain promotion to Step 6, albeit a season late, I'm assuming Codicote and Berkhamsted Raiders will still want promotion from Division Two at the end of this coming campaign, whenever it starts:

https://www.nonleaguematters.co.uk/forums/index.php?threads/clubs-at-step-7-and-below-with-football-furniture-stands-floodlights-cover-etc.2228/

As for working out who might progress to step 6 in future, you'd be better off referring to past lists of applicants as a starting point. By comparison, there's relatively little correlation between clubs who have these facilities and an intention to move upwards. Often too, such facilities that already exist below step 6 would need upgrading to meet current step 6 requirements.

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  • 5 months later...

A useful document from the FA attaching all the relevant and necessary ground grading documents and information needed for the 2020/21 campaign, I expect the likes of Codicote, Berkhamsted Raiders and Pitstone & Ivinghoe have poured over them for hours, analysing every word, however sadly they were just wasting their time:

FA National League System ground grading documents (thefa.com)

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  • 4 weeks later...

You can just about make out Codicote's name on this list released by the FA of County Feeder League promotion applicants who applied for promotion to Step 6 level back in the 2019/20 campaign which will be rolled over however given the current situation it is unclear whether promotions are going to take place or the planned Pyramid restructuring exercise which was put on ice. It's strange as I can't spot Berkhamsted Raiders name on the list, I thought they had applied for promotion to Division One for the 2019/20 campaign, perhaps Karen can clarify, I see that Cranfield United, Letchworth Garden City Eagles, FC Parson Drove, Netherton United, Rugby Borough and Thrapston Town have all applied to join the SSML at Step 6 level:

Billede

Edited by Rhodes
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Here is the 2020/21 list released by the FA of County Feeder League promotion applicants who applied for promotion to Step 6 level, again there is no sign of Berkhamsted Raiders or Pitstone & Ivinghoe for that matter however Berkhamsted Comrades have applied. I see that, in addition to the 2019/20 applicants, Pitshanger Dynamo and Royston Town Reserves have also applied to join the SSML at Step 6 level so we could have a whole new look when it eventually does happen:

Billede

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  • 4 months later...

A link to all the latest Ground Grading documents and information:

Ground Grading Documents Spartan South Midlands Football League (thefa.com)

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