Hamilton insists charter was his idea

LOCAL SOCCER: Relations between the two Ipswich Sunday leagues took another dip this week.A leading Select Technical Services Sunday League official has accused the Licensed Trades League of hijacking his idea to improve the disciplinary situation in the Ipswich area.

By Elvin King

LOCAL SOCCER

RELATIONS between the two Ipswich Sunday leagues took another dip this week.

A leading Select Technical Services Sunday League official has accused the Licensed Trades League of hijacking his idea to improve the disciplinary situation in the Ipswich area.

Mike Hamilton, fixture secretary of the Sunday League and a referee for the last ten years, said that he was the main instigator in a move to get his league and the Licensed Trades League to adopt a code of conduct.

"I feel an opportunist from the LTL has been at work and hijacked my idea," he said today. "The indication I got from an article in the Green 'Un last Saturday was that LTL chairman George Debman had come up with the plan.

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"At a meeting between both leagues on November 11, I made a suggestion that all clubs and players should be signatories to a code of conduct, in an attempt to stem the loss of referees and to make local football more enjoyable to all the participants, players and officials.

"I suggested that the two leagues adopt the codes of conduct from the Suffolk Football Association handbook with fines introduced for offenders.

"Mr Debman said he thought it was a 'brilliant idea.' I want to make it clear that it was my idea."

Mike feels the code of conduct will not prove to be an answer to the shortage of match officials, but it will be a way forward.

"The majority of referees are getting on a bit," he added. "There are few younger ones. In a few years time professional football might start feeling the pinch.

"Who in their right mind wants to turn out on a cold and wet Sunday morning to a tirade of abuse for 90 minutes? And this is the norm these days.

"With the leagues embracing the code of conduct wholeheartedly the cynical bile that goes on week-in and week-out would be eradicated in a very short space of time.

"It was decided at the meeting to make clubs aware of the situation, in preparation for proposals to be made at the annual general meeting of both leagues next summer."

Debman said: "We need a radical shake-up of Sunday football and youth football. Every club in both the Sunday leagues will have to sign the charter as will the players.

"More needs to be done to retain referees and my league will not put up with the verbal abuse and

misbehaviour which is increasingly creeping into the game."

The situation is not getting better with reports of a virtual free-for-all between players from both sides after the Sunday League match between Wickham Market and Ipswich Hospital earlier this month. Wickham lost 4-2.

On another worrying theme for Sunday football, St Clement's have been heavily fined and docked nine points for fielding players who are on a contract with Saturday clubs.

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