Norwich Sunday league clubs vote to keep five rolling subs rule at feisty AGM

Members met for the Norwich and District Sunday League AGM

Members met for the Norwich and District Sunday League AGM - Credit: Archant

Clubs in the Norwich and District Sunday League will continue to be allowed to name and use five rolling substitutes per game after members voted against league and Norfolk FA recommendations to reduce the number to three.

In an at times feisty league AGM tonight club representatives voted overwhelmingly against proposals to reduce the number of rolling substitutes, after the meeting heard it had enabled them to give players more game time - and make them more likely to stay at the club.

The proposals had been drawn up by the county FA in an attempt to make it easier for clubs to fulfil fixtures, and after an in-depth survey of teams at the end of last season.

The decision means the league has effectively gone against plans to standardise club rules across Norfolk - and it will therefore have to pay higher fees.

The meeting also heard how the number of adult leagues will be reduced for the second season in a row, from eight to seven. Some 18 teams pulled out of the league either during last season or since its conclusion, with just eight new teams lined up for 2014/15.

However, a trial to introduce an under 19 league has been hailed a massive success after the number of teams increased from 10 in 2013/14 to 28 signed up for next season.

Ben Casey, league secretary, said: 'Hopefully this should keep younger players playing a lot longer, rather than walking away from football.'

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Mr Casey did, however, express his concerns that some clubs were calling games off, when they could be doing more to get them played.

Also at the meeting, Norfolk FA chief executive Shaun Turner unveiled a series of new measures drawn-up in response to the survey. These include;

- an effort to standardise the rules in the adult game in Norfolk.

- attempts to improve the finances of clubs, including offering them the chance to secure advertising money through an online business directory and free scratch cards for in-club competitions.

- a discounted physio programme which offers up to 16 treatments for just £25.

Mr Turner also revealed that the FA has teamed up with a betting company called Betbright. In return for a £25 deposit per player, clubs will receive £40 back. This is not available to clubs above step 4 and clubs must have a bank account.

Mr Turner said: 'We recognise that a lot of clubs struggle financially and we are just trying to help.'

The 2014/14 league season will begin on Sunday, September 7.