The Non-League Football Paper
CAPTAIN JOSH HAILS POSITIVE FA DIALOGUE
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.