League forced to call time on Saturday football

Happier days: Wyre Forest’s Darren Raybold, James Chapman, Joe Wassell, Ray Birch and Jack Wassell.

Happier days: Wyre Forest’s Darren Raybold, James Chapman, Joe Wassell, Ray Birch and Jack Wassell.

First published in Local

ONE hundred and 20 years of Saturday football history looks set to come to an end in Wyre Forest next season.

Chiefs from the Kidderminster and District League have warned they will have to close the Saturday Premier unless there is a surge of new teams on the horizon.

At its peak, the competition boasted six divisions but has gradually decreased in size over the last decade.

Chairman Ernie Pyke has blamed a change in players’ attitude for the declining number of teams.

The rise of Under-21 football and irregular working patterns have also had a detrimental impact.

“We are all devastated by this news,” said a forlorn Pyke.

“It’s been coming for a while, the number of teams playing on a Saturday has steadily decreased.

“Attitudes have changed, young people today have a lot of other distractions to consider.

“They don’t want to get up on a Saturday morning and play because they have been in nightclubs until the early hours or have work.

“At the moment we have four teams who want to play in a Saturday division next season and the Worcester League has just three.”

Pyke also cited the cost of hiring a pitch from Wyre Forest District Council as a contributing factor.

Clubs from the district pay £64 a game to play, but prices for teams outside the area rose during last season from £71.50 to £85 and will go up to £89 from September.

As a consequence, one of the area’s biggest local football clubs looks set to fold imminently.

Wyre Forest FC do not wish to play on Sundays or move to West Midlands League, the first rung of the non-league pyramid, because of the extra costs and travelling involved.

The club is inviting former players and fans to attend a final home friendly match on Saturday to say goodbye (2.15pm kick-off).

Areley Kings are weighing up their options regarding where their senior side will continue to play.

Linda Collis, director of community well-being and environment, said: “Football pitches are very expensive for the council to maintain but the prices we charge clubs are heavily subsidised.

“Teams from outside the area use our pitches as their home ground as there are not pitches available in their own locality.

“The council does not think Wyre Forest residents should be subsidising teams outside of the district to the same extent.”The Kidderminster League will continue to run their Sunday divisions and cups.

Teams wishing to join the Saturday Premier are urged to call Ernie Pyke as soon as possible on 01299 823869.

Comments (6)

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2:03am Sat 17 May 14

Skijumper says...

Chairman Ernie Pyke has blamed a change in players’ attitude for the declining number of teams. Absolute rubbish Ernie Pyke is living in the past in an archaic time warp.
“They don’t want to get up on a Saturday morning and play because they have been in nightclubs until the early hours or have work". Another load of rubbish from him.
The reason why the Kidderminster and District Football League is in demise is because the teams that once supported it were mainly made up by local industries. They are no longer there, destroyed by Margaret Thatcher & her Tory Government. Come on Ernie wake up to reality and stop living your dreams of the past. The who! "The kids are alright".
Chairman Ernie Pyke has blamed a change in players’ attitude for the declining number of teams. Absolute rubbish Ernie Pyke is living in the past in an archaic time warp. “They don’t want to get up on a Saturday morning and play because they have been in nightclubs until the early hours or have work". Another load of rubbish from him. The reason why the Kidderminster and District Football League is in demise is because the teams that once supported it were mainly made up by local industries. They are no longer there, destroyed by Margaret Thatcher & her Tory Government. Come on Ernie wake up to reality and stop living your dreams of the past. The who! "The kids are alright". Skijumper
  • Score: -5

1:44pm Sat 17 May 14

Dave Donut says...

So Maggie has been out of power for 25 years, senile for many and dead for one - and it is her fault the Kiddy League (Saturday) has folded?! lol.

The Kiddy League has always had teams from pubs and clubs - not 'mainly works teams'.

The decline is much more social than industrial. On top of the reasons Ernie gives, there are many more students doing part time work at weekends, many more people work in retail parks and many more on zero-hour contracts who have no idea until the phone rings whether they are needed or not and thus cannot commit themselves.

(If you are socialist/trade unionist and want to be militant, get over your grudges from the past and make a stand against zero-hours contracts. The reason the trade union movement was started was to fight against issues such as this.)

Young men have more money, and more options than a generation ago. Clearly not many fancy playing on a Saturday afternoon - and who can be blame them. The pubs are open all day, they have cars to get about in and Sky TV has matches on back to back. Many watch the local teams or travel to watch Man Utd or whoever.

The Sunday League has 7 Divisions I believe - which I find a miracle in itself.
So Maggie has been out of power for 25 years, senile for many and dead for one - and it is her fault the Kiddy League (Saturday) has folded?! lol. The Kiddy League has always had teams from pubs and clubs - not 'mainly works teams'. The decline is much more social than industrial. On top of the reasons Ernie gives, there are many more students doing part time work at weekends, many more people work in retail parks and many more on zero-hour contracts who have no idea until the phone rings whether they are needed or not and thus cannot commit themselves. (If you are socialist/trade unionist and want to be militant, get over your grudges from the past and make a stand against zero-hours contracts. The reason the trade union movement was started was to fight against issues such as this.) Young men have more money, and more options than a generation ago. Clearly not many fancy playing on a Saturday afternoon - and who can be blame them. The pubs are open all day, they have cars to get about in and Sky TV has matches on back to back. Many watch the local teams or travel to watch Man Utd or whoever. The Sunday League has 7 Divisions I believe - which I find a miracle in itself. Dave Donut
  • Score: 13

4:01pm Sat 17 May 14

Skijumper says...

The Kidderminster Company I worked at had 4 football teams on a Saturday + Sunday teams + mid week teams along with many others from the wyre forest area. All these industrial firms had their own grounds staff and kept immaculate pitches & changing facilities. Sorry can't remember any pubs or clubs in our divisions and they would not have had their own sports facilities as mentioned above unless they hired them. Young men have less true value money in their pockets in my opinion. I was fortunate in 1971 to get married and take out a mortgage, raise a family of 2, run a motor car, have my wife at home to look after the home & family without her working all on £33 pound a week. Try asking any of today's generation to equal that. How can you possibly delude yourself into thinking they have more money than even a generation ago absolute rubbish!
The Kidderminster Company I worked at had 4 football teams on a Saturday + Sunday teams + mid week teams along with many others from the wyre forest area. All these industrial firms had their own grounds staff and kept immaculate pitches & changing facilities. Sorry can't remember any pubs or clubs in our divisions and they would not have had their own sports facilities as mentioned above unless they hired them. Young men have less true value money in their pockets in my opinion. I was fortunate in 1971 to get married and take out a mortgage, raise a family of 2, run a motor car, have my wife at home to look after the home & family without her working all on £33 pound a week. Try asking any of today's generation to equal that. How can you possibly delude yourself into thinking they have more money than even a generation ago absolute rubbish! Skijumper
  • Score: 1

4:03pm Mon 19 May 14

Dave Donut says...

Sounds like you are living in the past! Most of the big firm's sports and social facilities you are referring to closed down years ago.

As I said, the decline in numbers of teams on a Saturday is much more social. Local firms closing is not the only reason. Ernie must be knocking on a bit by now, but he still has more of an idea about young people than you. Young people aren't as active as they were because there are lots of other options than playing football or cricket . Many have sedentary or no jobs and have become lazy. Fast food is cheap and easily available. That is why there is an obesity epidemic.

There are as still many divisions on a Sunday now as there were a generation ago. Can your industrial decline due to Maggie explain that?

Googling average incomes over the years, it appears you were lucky enough to be on an above average wage in 1971. It would equate to about £40k now. Certainly possible to do as you did on that - although you may have to rent instead of buying due to crazy house prices - but, of course, there are 21st century standards of living and expectations of consumer items, social life, hobbies and holidays that you couldn't have imagined.
Sounds like you are living in the past! Most of the big firm's sports and social facilities you are referring to closed down years ago. As I said, the decline in numbers of teams on a Saturday is much more social. Local firms closing is not the only reason. Ernie must be knocking on a bit by now, but he still has more of an idea about young people than you. Young people aren't as active as they were because there are lots of other options than playing football or cricket . Many have sedentary or no jobs and have become lazy. Fast food is cheap and easily available. That is why there is an obesity epidemic. There are as still many divisions on a Sunday now as there were a generation ago. Can your industrial decline due to Maggie explain that? Googling average incomes over the years, it appears you were lucky enough to be on an above average wage in 1971. It would equate to about £40k now. Certainly possible to do as you did on that - although you may have to rent instead of buying due to crazy house prices - but, of course, there are 21st century standards of living and expectations of consumer items, social life, hobbies and holidays that you couldn't have imagined. Dave Donut
  • Score: 0

7:04pm Mon 19 May 14

Skijumper says...

Dave Donut wrote:
Sounds like you are living in the past! Most of the big firm's sports and social facilities you are referring to closed down years ago.

As I said, the decline in numbers of teams on a Saturday is much more social. Local firms closing is not the only reason. Ernie must be knocking on a bit by now, but he still has more of an idea about young people than you. Young people aren't as active as they were because there are lots of other options than playing football or cricket . Many have sedentary or no jobs and have become lazy. Fast food is cheap and easily available. That is why there is an obesity epidemic.

There are as still many divisions on a Sunday now as there were a generation ago. Can your industrial decline due to Maggie explain that?

Googling average incomes over the years, it appears you were lucky enough to be on an above average wage in 1971. It would equate to about £40k now. Certainly possible to do as you did on that - although you may have to rent instead of buying due to crazy house prices - but, of course, there are 21st century standards of living and expectations of consumer items, social life, hobbies and holidays that you couldn't have imagined.
Sorry you cannot keep blaming and discrediting youngsters for being lazy and not wishing to partake in football or cricket. As soon as they can sit in front of a TV from an early age they become the target and eventually the products of the mind programming systems set up by huge businesses, manufacturers, etc. All with a vested interest in exploiting them for maximum gain, for example fashion, entertainment, fast food, mobile phones, computers, gymnasiums and many more businesses of course. All modern and must haves, but more importantly turning in billions in profits. No they are not lazy they have been conditioned by the all powerful system for the system's benefit.
[quote][p][bold]Dave Donut[/bold] wrote: Sounds like you are living in the past! Most of the big firm's sports and social facilities you are referring to closed down years ago. As I said, the decline in numbers of teams on a Saturday is much more social. Local firms closing is not the only reason. Ernie must be knocking on a bit by now, but he still has more of an idea about young people than you. Young people aren't as active as they were because there are lots of other options than playing football or cricket . Many have sedentary or no jobs and have become lazy. Fast food is cheap and easily available. That is why there is an obesity epidemic. There are as still many divisions on a Sunday now as there were a generation ago. Can your industrial decline due to Maggie explain that? Googling average incomes over the years, it appears you were lucky enough to be on an above average wage in 1971. It would equate to about £40k now. Certainly possible to do as you did on that - although you may have to rent instead of buying due to crazy house prices - but, of course, there are 21st century standards of living and expectations of consumer items, social life, hobbies and holidays that you couldn't have imagined.[/p][/quote]Sorry you cannot keep blaming and discrediting youngsters for being lazy and not wishing to partake in football or cricket. As soon as they can sit in front of a TV from an early age they become the target and eventually the products of the mind programming systems set up by huge businesses, manufacturers, etc. All with a vested interest in exploiting them for maximum gain, for example fashion, entertainment, fast food, mobile phones, computers, gymnasiums and many more businesses of course. All modern and must haves, but more importantly turning in billions in profits. No they are not lazy they have been conditioned by the all powerful system for the system's benefit. Skijumper
  • Score: 3

11:50am Tue 20 May 14

Dave Donut says...

I am not blaming or discrediting youngsters. The point is that they don't want to play like we did. They have other interests.

It is not that the facilities don't exist. Youth football is much better than when I was a kid. Better organised, better facilities. Coaching of childrens teams which are organised into leagues, girls not just boys playing, Harriers run clubs during school holidays at many local venues. I would have loved that. Artificial pitches…Five a side leagues..

And I agree with a lot of what you say. Its called Capitalism! Similar to what allowed you to earn that much money in the 1970's. And am glad to see that you are thinking into the varied reasons why youngsters don't just want to kick a football around rather than make a political point and blame everything on Maggie and the decline of local manufacturing.
I am not blaming or discrediting youngsters. The point is that they don't want to play like we did. They have other interests. It is not that the facilities don't exist. Youth football is much better than when I was a kid. Better organised, better facilities. Coaching of childrens teams which are organised into leagues, girls not just boys playing, Harriers run clubs during school holidays at many local venues. I would have loved that. Artificial pitches…Five a side leagues.. And I agree with a lot of what you say. Its called Capitalism! Similar to what allowed you to earn that much money in the 1970's. And am glad to see that you are thinking into the varied reasons why youngsters don't just want to kick a football around rather than make a political point and blame everything on Maggie and the decline of local manufacturing. Dave Donut
  • Score: 1

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