24th March 2023
3 months’ notice for the future of non league football and at what cost to the game?
Non league players and clubs have been given 3 months’ warning to make a decision on how they want to deal with one of the major but unavoidable costs involved in playing football…
The cost of injury!
Ever since the news broke this week, we have been inundated with messages from players worried about their livelihood and the future of the game for them and their colleagues – whether contracted or not.
To recap, as of July 1st, non league contracts will now only require clubs to pay injured players for a maximum of 12 weeks when injured (this reduces to 6 weeks for players at Step 2 downwards).
We feel there is no doubt that the current cost of living crisis and the slow post-pandemic recovery is at the heart of this because nobody surely wants this situation?
Whatever the driver, the fact is something needs to change to ensure the sustainability of the game.
There are broadly TWO main options:
- Proceed with the announced change and the system that will be in place as a result.
- Increase dependency on Go Fund Me campaigns when emergency funds are needed.
We’ve seen far too much of the second option for far too long. Fans having to prop up clubs and player welfare with sporadic fundraising initiatives that although well meant and doubtless essential are never going to be a long term and sustainable solution.
We believe there is a third option when it comes to player and club welfare but it requires a united front, whether you are a club, contracted or uncontracted player or just as crucially, a fan.
By joining the Our Game system, players and clubs can plug into our proven insurance service and comprehensive medical system.
This absolutely has to be the start of a new era for Non League Football, and at Our Game we have long built a system capable of delivering what’s needed here. Our commitment to, experience and knowledge of the game has already proven its worth and that is why we already have solutions to these modern day challenges.
Ultimately, it is down to the clubs and players affected to make the right decisions on what to do.
Here’s a reminder of what we offer:
● Players take out an Our Game membership (https://ourgamefootball.com/player-adult/) with a wide range of benefits and services. This either costs £250 as a one off annual payment, or £25 per month over 12 months with a £30 annual registration fee. (Paying annually represents a 25% discount to paying monthly.)
● Once a member, players have the option to add our Player Plus Full Membership which includes amongst other things our income protection package that will pay out up to £500 per week if a player is injured and loses money from work or football. This is applicable to both contract and non contract players, and has a cost of £300 per year or £27.50 a month over 12 months. (Paying annually represents a 10% saving).
● Clubs can also join the Our Game service (https://ourgamefootball.com/club/), and insure themselves for the cost of paying their injured contracted players at a rate of 2% of the basic wage to be insured.
● All of this is supported by a medical system that has been built up using knowledge and experience gained from our founder’s (Francis Duku) 17 year career as a footballer at these levels (which included many injuries) and 10 years of successfully providing the Our Game service (https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/ourgamefootball.com). Partners include FIFA Medical Centres of Excellence and service providers who have and still currently work at the very top end of football.
With this network we are able to offer a national sports injury service with at the very least comparable services to that used by many professional clubs. The solution on offer here is truly holistic and not just reactionary / piecemeal. We are making an offer to the FA, and all league managing bodies, County FAs throughout the country to work with us and we will be part of the solution football needs!!
We are not offering theory or debating the rights and wrongs of what has been proposed. We have immediately actionable solutions that deal with the reality of the situation football now finds itself in and look forward to supporting anyone who wants to utilize our help! Players and clubs both have an interest in a solution being found, and we offer a system in which they can both play their part.
2nd December 2022
It was a busy week here last week at the Our Game Football offices as we launched our mini campaign to bring football CLOSER to home this World Cup.
In fact, it got even busier on Friday when the editor of the hugely respected ‘The Non-League Football Paper’ got in touch for a chat to find out what we were up to.
You can find out more about the campaign and Francis’ chat with editor Matt Badcock HERE but, in a nutshell, we’re trying to make EVERY day a non-league day during this World Cup.
That’s because while the eyes of the world are drawn to Qatar and football’s biggest showcase event, we are on a mission to show that the month-long Premier League break can be an opportunity for smaller local clubs, if they think outside the (corporate) box…
We know that away from the global spotlight, million-pound contracts, mega endorsements and commercial partnerships, it’s a harsh reality that football is really suffering at grassroots and lower levels.
Some are even describing the current period as “the biggest threat to non-league football since the second world war.”
However, there is a real window of opportunity over the next month for local clubs to showcase themselves and grab a slice of the attention, back here at home. For all the glitz and glamour of the World Cup, there’s still a huge demand for live football and smaller community-focused clubs.
In fact, we think there’s no reason why EVERY match day over the next month can’t be a #nonleagueday .
It’s an opportunity for local clubs to build awareness and get ready for the new year and Non-League Day in 2023. Smaller clubs can and should be the beating hearts of the local community; here’s hoping that football really does come home this World Cup.
We’re not running an official event but together with the Non-League Day team, we have created three top tips for clubs keen to leverage the World Cup Window:
We’re not running an official event but together with the Non-League Day team…..
1. Create a mini season ticket for the World Cup period to try and get more people in the gate over this entire month of ‘Non-League Days’.
2. Invite local businesses to your club on match days to raise awareness of themselves in the local community while generating extra sales.
Propose a split of the proceeds, with your club getting some extra income for the day – food vendors reflecting World Cup participants and Christmas present providers are two great examples this could work with.
3. Sign up for a FREE Our Game Associate Club Membership and let us show you how to turn World Cup activity into new ways of re-engaging with all who participate, all while tracking and quantifying it for the benefit of the fans, club and all stakeholders.
27th April 2022
As many of you know the Our Game Community Scheme partnered with Non League Day this year, and we were glad to see it was once again such a successful event. As we continue to build on the support we are making available to the Non League scene in the UK, we wanted to make you aware of an offer that can save your club thousands of pounds a year, but needs you to act quickly as you must submit your interest by 5pm on 29th April!!
The Premier League has a Club Development Fund that is available to clubs at Steps 1 to 6 in the men’s game and at Steps 1 to 4 in the women’s game with which you can access up to £50k for off the pitch developments and up to £150k for on the pitch developments. (Please see Club Development Fund | Premier League Stadium Fund). We have created the following options for you to utilize this available funding:
- Apply for an off the pitch grant to install solar panels at your ground, generating your own electricity, whilst also helping to protect the environment!! The 10% contribution you would need to make per the fund rules can potentially be covered by various aspects of the reward scheme available with a FREE Our Game Club Membership. (Further government incentives and tax breaks may be available once the project scope has been determined based on your particular ground.)
- Apply for an off the pitch grant to improve the pitch / install a 3G pitch and make your club more of a community club / hub with the benefits that come with that. Again the required club contribution can be supported / boosted by the reward scheme available with an Our Game Club membership.
If interested in either / both of these options, you must express your interest by 5pm on 29th April at Premier League Club Development Fund – Expression of Interest
Once you have expressed your interest, please then confirm back to us at [email protected] so that we can co-ordinate our part in this.
If you are a club at Step 5 or 6 in the men’s game or at Steps 3 or 4 in the women’s game, you may also qualify for a free defibrillator (while funding remains available). Details on this further option can be found at Football Foundation | Grant.
For any questions on the above or to request further information, please feel free to contact us on 0208 166 5785 / [email protected].