Corby S&L take steps to ensure youth aren't hit by rise in NFA fees

Concerns were raised among youth football clubs after it was announce the Northants FA would be increasing their affiliation fees for next season

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 9:02 am
Stewarts & Lloyds have made moves to ensure parents of their young players aren't hit in the pocket next season

Corby Stewarts & Lloyds are taking steps to ensure parents of children who play within the club’s youth section are not hit in the pocket due to the Northamptonshire Football Association’s increase in affiliation fees for the 2021-22 season.

S&L have one of the larger youth sections in north Northamptonshire and are set to have 16 junior teams playing under their banner next season.

It was revealed earlier this month that the NFA would be increasing their affiliation fees, a move that raised serious concerns among youth football clubs and the Weetabix Youth League.

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The NFA said the increase was made due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the fact that the Football Association has to save £300m over the next four years.

S&L are facing an 83 per cent increase in their affiliation fee from previous years but, instead of making up that shortfall by asking parents to pay more, the club have taken steps to ensure that doesn’t have to happen.

The club currently charge a £30 signing on fee, which is due to go up to £35 due to the NFA’s increase.

As they are a members club, a family membership cost of £7 is included in the signing on fee but chairman John Davies, along with the senior club committee, have decided to waive the £7 membership for all youth members for this year meaning they can keep the cost of their signing on fee the same without hitting parents in the pocket after a tough period during the pandemic.

The club’s junior section chairman Neil Woollacott said: “The club had a bit of a bad reputation at one point for just wanting to take children’s money but it hasn’t been like that in the three seasons I have been here.

“When we were going through the costs for the new season, John proposed the idea and the senior committee backed it up and it means we don’t have to increase our own fees which is a massive help to parents.

“I look at why the NFA have had to increase their fees and I totally understand it. I work in finance and I get it from a numbers point of view.

“We just wanted to look at it to see if we could find a way to ensure our parents didn’t have to pay more and we have managed to do that, which is great given the current climate.”

S&L have also launched a scheme which sees families donating old football boots that do not fit having hardly been worn during the last year to the club so they can then be passed down to other players.

“A couple of our coaches suggested the idea and it has been quite successful, especially with the younger teams when new players come on board,” Woollacott added.

“The last thing a parent wants to do is spend a load of money on boots if their child isn’t going to stick at it.”