Continental shift pattens have hurt grassroots game

Liversedge manager Jonathan Rimmington

The move by many UK companies towards continental shifts have contributed heavily to the fall in numbers of players playing grassroots football.

That is the view of Liversedge manager Jonathan Rimmington.

With adult grassroots football, particularly the West Yorkshire League and the Yorkshire Amateur League facing armageddon day, Rimmington has joined Harrogate Railway boss Des Macorison in expressing his concern.

Rimmington, who ran a very successful interior design company for many years, says work pattens have changed considerably when compared to the 20 years ago.

“I said to someone last week that continental shifts has massively affected the local game,” Rimmington told Non League Yorkshire.

“Lads come to games at half-time in some cases because they have been working.

“It wasn’t a case in the 1990s, 100%. 

“A work shift in the 1990s would be probably eight until five pm. I had 20-odd decorators and the lad who worked for me all worked eight until five.

“Then we started working away and that’s where a lot of the work is these days.

“If you have a decorating company in Leeds, I bet half of your company is working away and not working in Yorkshire. For decorating companies in Leeds, you can make more money in London.

“For instance Joe Kenny didn’t play at Garforth on Tuesday night because he was working in Penzance.

“Working away wasn’t as common in the 1990s as it is now.

“Aaron Fell next week, he is working two until ten pm as where he works it is all continental shifts so he can’t get to our game

“It is a nightmare and for myself as a manager it is terrible really.”

Macorison started the debate last week by saying he feared for the future of the West Yorkshire League and Yorkshire Amateur League.

Macorison was manager of Littletown, the runners-up in the West Riding County Amateur League last season. The almost-100-year-old is now defunct having had to fold because of a lack of teams.

The Harrogate boss pinned a lot of the blame on excessive wage demands by players.

Rimmington has added his take on that.

“The standard of football across the board has probably gone down from the 1990s,” he said.

“The commitment levels have gone down. Lads don’t turn up if they don’t want to.

“There is so much to do now. Lads are on their phone 24/7, there’s social media.

“When I played you got to know on a Thursday night at training whether you were playing on the Saturday and you turned up.

“I probably did have a mobile phone in the 1990s, but a lot of lads didn’t. So you couldn’t really get out of it.

“The money at this level is also madness, but you have either got to have a go or don’t have a go and become a just normal club.”

One thought on “Continental shift pattens have hurt grassroots game

  1. In South Yorkshire Adult Male 11aside football has seriously declined both Saturdays and Sundays. However the Sheffield and District Junior League which covers all the Sheffield & Hallamshire CFA Region thrives, Players start at 7years old when they get 16 there is a massive drop off in participation. That for me is part of the problem.

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