The Non-League Football Paper


- By Matt Badcock

JOSH STAUNTON has thanked the Football Associatio­n for opening dialogue on the concerns players have over the new NonLeague contracts that have been put forward for next season.

Under the alteration­s, a minimum standard contract had been proposed that could see injured players only paid in full for 12 weeks – six weeks from Step 2 down – before being placed on statutory sick pay for up to 28 weeks or until the player is fit, unless an ‘opt-in’ box is ticked.

In addition, a contract could be terminated with three months’ notice if, in the opinion of a club-instructed medic, the player is unable to play for a period of four months.

The changes also look to addresse holiday pay for contracted players.

The NLP understand­s the existing contract, which has been used for some time, no longer complies with UK employment law.

The PFA, who were involved in consultati­ons but say they cannot support the changes, alerted players to the situation but don’t have an agreement to represent Non-League players.

That prompted Yeovil Town skipper Staunton to rally together the 24 National League captains into a WhatsApp group to discuss options.

Last Friday they released an open letter calling for “urgent talks” with the Football Associatio­n over the issue and to have their concerns heard.

The two parties have come together in the last week and Staunton says it is encouragin­g the governing body have been open to listening.

“We’ve establishe­d communicat­ion with the FA and we’re in open discussion­s with how to move forward,” defender Staunton told The NLP. “They’ve come back with some propositio­ns and it’s a case of trying to find middle ground.

“Thankfully they’re listening to us, which is always good and encouragin­g and we appreciate that fact.”

A number of clubs have confirmed they will instruct players to tick the opt-in box.

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