Steward's cash warning for Suffolk clubs

OUTGOING county secretary Bill Steward had a harsh warning for clubs at his last Suffolk FA general meeting as secretary before moving to the treasurer's position.

OUTGOING county secretary Bill Steward had a harsh warning for clubs at his last Suffolk FA general meeting as secretary before moving to the treasurer's position.

He explained that insurance premiums for clubs will increase sharply to double the previous amount with immediate effect.

This has been brought about by the increasing trend of players who take legal action against opponents after receiving injury.

It will mean an immediate rise in premiums with even larger increases for clubs who employ contract players.


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In his 16th and final report before Martin Head takes over the secretary's position, Steward praised the county's representative teams and also congratulated AFC Sudbury for reaching the semi-final of the FA Vase.

Disciplinary cases were 7,653 which was up on the previous year but there was a fall in the number of poor administration cases which the secretary saw as a welcome trend.

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The FA Fair Play winners were Phoenix Colts and the County Fair Play awards went to Claydon and Martlesham Old Boys.

Runners-up were Black Boy, Cockfield Reserves, Parkers, Finningham Flyers, Case A and Lowestoft Plough.

Tributes were paid to council members Russell Morphew and Chris Fosker, also to youth player of the year Marc Lucchi, who all died during last season.

Speaking on future prospects for the game at youth level, Steward said a new FA initiative known as Soccer Parent would be starting in August to integrate parents and improve behaviour.

The secretary also stated that the Ipswich and Suffolk Youth League had got an Under 11 section for girls up and running with nine teams registered so far.

The balance sheet for the year ending December 31 showed a surplus of £52,237 with fines and costs from the disciplinary cases amounting to £74,321.

The financial report was presented for the last time by Gordon Blake before he becomes county president after 22 years as treasurer.

There were long service awards to referees Kim Dyer, Ray Tatum, David Theobald and Colin Southgate who all completed 25 years.

An FA Volunteer award was presented to David Routh for his many years of service to the game.

The report from match secretary John Thorndyke stated that Suffolk had received a bye in the first round of next season's FA County Youth Cup before entertaining Bedfordshire in the second round.

The vote of thanks to the officers was given by Mick Leeds who praised, in particular, the efforts of Bill Steward, Gordon Blake, Gary Steed and Brian Thompson.

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