We’ve thought long and hard about the opportunities, implications, potential problems and solutions for this project and so here are some of the key Q&As.
The National League System (Steps 1-6) has undergone a restructuring over the last 2 seasons. Season 2019-20 is the last phase of that restructuring.
The restructuring means that it will become harder, although not impossible, for a team to enter Step 6. In the 2020/21 season the North WestCounties League envisage they will have a number of spaces available to clubs wishing to play in Step 6.
This presents a fantastic opportunity to FC IOM. Please see this link for more information.
Although the progress clubs and the National team have made over the last 15 years has been fantastic the ‘better’ players are not able to reach their full potential by playing solely in the local game.
This, it has to be said, is not the fault of local clubs or the IOMFA.
Although ‘National Team’ games provide additional challenges they are not frequent enough to produce lasting benefits to the group or the individuals within it. Conversely, with the ‘better players’ spread-out amongst local clubs they are unable to regularly train or play with players at the same or similar level of play. This leads to inconsistent performances and a lower ceiling in their performance potential.
Establishing a club in a UK league will expose the Island’s better players to a more competitive environment both in training and during games which will help them to continue to develop as individuals and a team.
We recognise there are challenges in the local game whilst also recognising those challenges have been there long before FC IOM was floated as an idea. They will also continue to be challenges regardless of whether FC IOM goes ahead or not.
We therefore wish for FC IOM to be part of the solution to the current challenges by working with the IOMFA and it’s member clubs to create a joined-up pathway that meets the needs of all footballers on the IOM regardless of the level they aspire to play at.
We believe the formation of a working group to look at how the IOMFA member clubs and FC IOM work together could be a fantastic place to discuss and develop creative solutions to the challenges described.
In theory yes, especially if the Canada Life Premier League becomes a Step 7 League.
However, we believe if this did happen it would lead to a less than ideal outcome because:
- It would reduce impact made in relation to the Isle of Man national identity with which we wish to establish this venture.
- Once one club goes, another may follow which would dilute the opportunities for both clubs, players and sponsors. The sums of money involved in sustaining more than one club in an off-Island league could not be justified in the short or long term.
- The English FA are more supportive of a new club representing the whole Island similar to the approaches of Guernsey and Jersey’s.
- Adult and junior players would gravitate towards the local club that is playing off-Island. This, we believe, would have a detrimental effect on clubs developing their players – we believe that an FC IOM club should be
part of the Manx football pathway therefore working with all clubs to improve all aspects of football on the IOM (not that of an individual club).
In short No.
FC IOM are happy to state that at no time will FC IOM enter a team into ANY IOMFA league or cup competition in the Men’s, Women’s or Junior games unless formally invited by the IOMFA.
We sincerely hope that the IOMFA will become an enthusiastic partner and assist FC IOM to operate in a positive way for the Manx Football community.
No financial or administrative burden will be expected or placed onto the IOMFA. FC IOM’s aims are to be in a position to assist the IOMFA in these areas by reinvesting in the local
IOMFA will be offered a seat on the board of FC IOM as a non-executive director.
Set-up costs will be met by our parent company Sporting Club Isle of Man via membership, donations and patronage.
Season to Season income will come from a variety of revenue streams:
- Tickets sales
- Commercial Partnerships and Sponsorship
Our initial enquiries point to the NWCPL Div 1 BUT it also could be another league at the same level (Step 6) depending on where the FA’s National League System management group place us.
In all likelihood Yes.
We have had positive discussions with the FA and they are willing to accommodate us in the same way they have Guernsey FC and the Jersey Bulls.
In the first season FC IOM would be unable to play in the FA Cup because in order to enter the FA Cup a club must have played at least 1 season in the FA Vase.
The FC IOM budget is built around playing in the FA Vase in Season 3 with entry into the FA Cup being planned for Season 4.
In practice entry into one or both of the cup competitions will depend upon budgets available and the wishes of any commercial partners. If enough funds are available FA Vase entry could take place in Season 1 with the FA Cup in Season 2.
It is likely that FC IOM will be required to play in the league cup competition for the league it enters.
If FC IOM are accepted into the Northwest Counties League (Hallmark League) it will be the Macron Cup and those games are scheduled as Saturday fixtures.
This will decided via an open application process based on minimum criteria with a selection panel.
Selection of players will come in two parts:
- At the end of each season all players are de-registered from their clubs and will be free to move to any club (including FC IOM).
- FC IOM could select any player from local football, it would be up to the player whether they wanted to be part of FC IOM and register for any given season with FC IOM. The player can then chose whether they wish to dual-register with a local IOM Club.
Initially we do not envisage this is something we would do unless there is a player attracting lots of attention from clubs within the professional game who have the funds to pay a transfer fee.
As FC IOM moves through the league system we hope to move from Amateur to expenses only to semi-professional to professional player engagement models.
The short answer is that we hope that will be the case if the player is dual registered.
However, this needs to be ratified with the FA (i.e. understand the dual registration process/restrictions). The mechanics and processes around how this might work in practice require careful consideration from all parties as the idea of dual-registration could create a number of very real challenges for FC IOM and the local game.
This aspect in particular would require working through in the proposed Working Group once affiliation has been supported by the Member clubs.
At this stage we are not sure how mid-season registration/transfer would work so this needs to be clarified.
We would hope a solution can be found with local clubs which is acceptable to all and keeps things as simplified as possible. However, two possible solutions are:
- All players playing at a Canada Life Premier League club could be automatically dual registered for FC IOM and a local club.
- A number of players could be dual registered from the start of the season which negates the
need for transfers.
Ideally, we would like to play at The Bowl.
We believe the Bowl exceeds the minimum requirements in the majority of areas for entry into Step 6 once it is registered with the FA.
Small enhancements to the current facilities will be required and we are having ongoing discussions with the Department of Education, Sport and Culture about this.
The Northwest Counites League (NWCL) stipulates all games are Sat 3pm unless otherwise agreed– we will be making a strong case to have 5:30pm KO for all our home fixtures.
Our initial conversations with the NWCL have been positive in this regard.
FC IOM could offer / may need to offer to play all mid-week fixtures Off-Island. Until we have met the NWCL committee for discussion we will not be able to offer concrete answers.
This is yet to be established as we are in embryonic stages of establishing the club and it will depend upon facility and player availability.
We are seeking a solution that ensures Local clubs current training arrangements are not compromised.