Month: April 2021

Social Media Boycott

Shildon AFC will be joining clubs and organisations by taking part in the social media boycott from 15:00 Friday to 23:59 on Monday 3 May.


English football announces social media boycott

The FA, Premier League, EFL, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out and the FSA will unite for a social media boycott from 15.00 on Friday 30 April to 23.59 on Monday 3 May, in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football.

This has been scheduled to take place across a full fixture programme in the men’s and women’s professional game and will see clubs across the Premier League, EFL, WSL and Women’s Championship switch off their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

As a collective, the game recognises the considerable reach and value of social media to our sport. The connectivity and access to supporters who are at the heart of football remains vital.

However, the boycott shows English football coming together to emphasise that social media companies must do more to eradicate online hate, while highlighting the importance of educating people in the ongoing fight against discrimination.

In our letter of February 2021, English football outlined its requests of social media companies, urging filtering, blocking and swift takedowns of offensive posts, an improved verification process and re-registration prevention, plus active assistance for law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute originators of illegal content. While some progress has been made, we reiterate those requests today in an effort to stem the relentless flow of discriminatory messages and ensure that there are real-life consequences for purveyors of online abuse across all platforms.

Boycott action from football in isolation will, of course, not eradicate the scourge of online discriminatory abuse, but it will demonstrate that the game is willing to take voluntary and proactive steps in this continued fight.

Finally, while football takes a stand, we urge the UK Government to ensure its Online Safety Bill will bring in strong legislation to make social media companies more accountable for what happens on their platforms, as discussed at the DCMS Online Abuse roundtable earlier this week.

Edleen John, The FA’s Director of International Relations, Corporate Affairs and Co-Partner for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said: “It’s simply unacceptable that people across English football and society more broadly continue to be subjected to discriminatory abuse online on a daily basis, with no real-world consequences for perpetrators. This needs to change quickly, and we continue to urge social media companies to act now to address this. We will not stop talking about this issue and will continue to work with government in ensuring that the Online Safety Bill gives sufficient regulatory and supervisory powers to Ofcom. Social media companies need to be held accountable if they continue to fall short of their moral and social responsibilities to address this endemic problem.

“We have recently seen how powerful it can be when everybody is united for the good of the English game. We are calling on organisations and individuals across the game to join us in a temporary boycott of these social media platforms, to show solidarity and unite in the message that English football will not tolerate discrimination in any form.”

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “Racist behaviour of any form is unacceptable and the appalling abuse we are seeing players receive on social media platforms cannot be allowed to continue.

“The Premier League and our clubs stand alongside football in staging this boycott to highlight the urgent need for social media companies to do more in eliminating racial hatred. We will not stop challenging social media companies and want to see significant improvements in their policies and processes to tackle online discriminatory abuse on their platforms.

“Football is a diverse sport, which brings together communities and cultures from all backgrounds and this diversity makes the competition stronger. No Room For Racism represents all the work we do to promote equality, diversity and inclusion and tackling discrimination.”

Trevor Birch, Chief Executive of the EFL said: “EFL clubs have expressed a clear desire to take a united stand against abhorrent racist, discriminatory, and threatening abuse on social media platforms which we fully support alongside the rest of the football family.

“While we recognise the value and role social media plays in our game, online abuse will not be tolerated and we will continue to strongly pursue all avenues open to us to affect change.

“The boycott is only part of the work being undertaken in this area but further highlights the need for social media companies to take additional responsibility for the inappropriate and unwelcome behaviour that appears on their platforms.

Simone Pound, Director of EDI at the PFA said: “Social media channels represent an extension of the working environment for professional footballers, and as the players’ union, we are committed to finding solutions that better protect our membership and the wider community from online abuse.

“As part of our work to address this issue, which started with the 24-hour #Enough boycott of social media channels, the PFA has been pushing for collaboration between the platforms, the game, the Government, police and CPS to find solutions and protect players from the abuse they face daily.

“In 2021, with a collective voice, we can hold social media companies to account and send a powerful message to a global audience – abusive behaviour is unacceptable.”

Sanjay Bhandari, Kick It Out Chair, said: “Social media is now sadly a regular vessel for toxic abuse. This boycott signifies our collective anger at the damage this causes to the people who play, watch and work in the game. By removing ourselves from the platforms, we are making a symbolic gesture to those with power. We need you to act. We need you to create change.

“We need social media companies to make their platforms a hostile environment for trolls rather than for the football family. We need the Government to hold its nerve and keep its promises to regulate. The Online Safety Bill could be a game changer and we aim to help make that happen. There should be no space for hate and everyone can play their part. If you watch, work in or love the game, join in.”

Richard Bevan, Chief Executive at the LMA said: “The LMA fully supports the social media boycott across the professional game. A unified silence will send a loud and powerful message to those that perpetrate online abuse that their actions will no longer be tolerated, and to the social media companies that they have a responsibility to do everything in their power to eradicate online hate.

“We also urge Government to understand the significance of this collective action and to ensure that its Online Safety Bill delivers appropriately strong legislation.”

Kevin Miles, Chief Executive of the Football Supporters’ Association said: “The Football Supporters’ Association is fully behind the game’s efforts to stamp out online hate and discrimination and will join next weekend’s social media boycott. Much media attention has rightly focused on the vile abuse aimed at players, managers and journalists in the men’s and women’s game and we see that aimed at fans groups too. It has to stop.

“Many of our most active fan groups tell us that they have received disgusting abuse when they are doing nothing more than trying to represent their supporter base. It’s a threat to the very existence of supporter organisations who are run by volunteers in their spare time. As fans we stand with players, managers, referees and all in the game in calling for the social media companies to step up.”

Shildon AFC -Buildbase £25k Community Award Winners

Shildon AFC wins £25,000 product bursary in Buildbase Community Club Award

Shildon AFC is one of two non-league clubs to win a 50% share of the annual £50K Buildbase Community Club Award.

The club is receiving a £25,000 product bursary which covers building, electrical and hire materials to renovate its facilities, having pitched its plans to a panel of judges from Buildbase and the FA.

Pitch Team : Martyn Tweddle, Secretary – David Dent, Chairman – Michael Wilson, Videographer

And the clubs that have won the award this year were judged as much on their community involvement as their investment in football.

Shildon AFC has plans for new paving, decking and artificial grass in a community garden, café and outdoor seating area with wi-fi, which will support its homework club for two local schools. The outdoor space will also offer a place to walk for the over-60s, boules and space for kids’ holiday clubs and events.

During the pandemic, the club supported the community by delivering food parcels for local charities including the Solan Connor Fawcett Family Cancer Trust and Shildon Alive, organising holiday courses and meals for disadvantaged children and arranging socially-distanced visits for supporters with mental health issues during lockdown.

David Dent, club chairman, said: “This win gives us a new dimension and more flexibility as to how we stage matches. We can house more people on match day and are creating an appropriate, outside space as a lot of our supporters are older people and will be anxious about being in closed spaces after the pandemic.

“For our local community it will be a massive benefit, helping with holiday courses, homework hubs and engaging supporters with coffee mornings. This helps many people in the community with the facility being seen as a real asset to the town.”

Local Buildbase branches will be supporting the clubs with information, advice and supplying the building products required for their projects.

Paul Roche, Managing Director of Buildbase said: “Non-league clubs have given incredible support to their communities during the pandemic and this is what our award is all about. And Shildon AFC is showing how clubs can help lead the way in local support as well as sporting activity.”

Buildbase has been giving away building materials to help renovate non-league football clubs since it became the title sponsor of the FA Trophy and Vase in 2016.

Updates can be found by following @BuildbaseUK on Twitter #BuildbaseCommunityClubAward at or in branch.

Shildon v Warrington Rylands Match Report by Adam Gill

Shildon 0-0 Warrington Rylands (4-5 pen)

Shildon were defeated on penalties in the Fourth Round of the FA Vase against Warrington Rylands at Dean Street.

The hosts were awarded a penalty in the ninth minute when Joe Posthill was brought down in the Warrington box.

Dean Thexton stepped up to take the penalty, however he saw his effort saved by Warrington keeper Graeme McCall.

The away went close in the 12th minute when Stephen Milne was played through by Warren Gerrard only to put his strike wide of the post.

Thexton went close for Shildon again in the 27th minute, however he could only fire over the bar from six yards out.

The Railwaymen came close to the lead in the 35th minute when Aidan Heywood cut inside on his left foot before seeing his effort cannon back off the post.

With few chances in the second half from both sides and the score level, the match was to be decided by penalties.

Danny Craggs and Billy Greulich-Smith scored the first two penalties for Shildon, whilst Paul Shanley and Milne scored Warrington’s first two.

Shaun Newbrook saved Gerrard’s penalty, before Thexton and Smith scored Shildon’s third penalty and Warrington’s fourth penalty respectively.

Daniel Moore missed Shildon’s fourth before Michael Sweet scored for Shildon and Andrew Scarisbrick scored for Warrington to take the tie to sudden death.

Connor Ready stepped up and scored for Warrington before McCall saved Heywood’s penalty to send Warrington through.

FA Vase v Warrington Rylands – New Kick Off Time

Today we have received the following guidance from the FA for Saturday’s game with Warrington Rylands. 

“The FA has consulted with Her Majesty’s Government in relation to the funeral arrangements of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and sporting fixtures on Saturday 17 April 2021.

“As a mark of respect, The FA will be recommending that no football fixtures take place between 14:45 and 16:15, a minute’s silence is observed before matches are played and black armbands are worn. All flags at Wembley Stadium and St. George’s Park will also fly at half-mast.

“The Emirates FA Cup Semi Final between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium will be played as scheduled at 17:30 and the Vitality Women’s FA Cup Fourth Round fixture between Manchester City Women and Aston Villa Women will be brought forward to 12:00 in agreement with both clubs.  

“Fixtures scheduled for 15:00 in the Buildbase FA Vase Fourth Round Proper will also be moved and we have asked participating clubs to agree a suitable revised kick off time outside of 14:45 and 16:15. Should clubs not be able to mutually agree on a new kick off time, this shall be determined by The FA.

“The FA’s thoughts continue to be with Her Majesty the Queen, our president, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, and the wider royal family during this difficult time.”

After discussions with Warrington Rylands we have agreed that the kick off will be 12:30pm on Saturday.
Many thanks to Tony and all at Warrington Rylands for their help in arranging the new time.

FA Vase 5th Round Draw

The draw for the next round of the FA Vase has taken place today. The winners of our tie on Saturday with Warrington Rylands have been drawn at home to play the winners of North Ferriby v West Auckland. 

The Full draw is as follows:


1 Hebburn Town or Liversedge v Congleton Town or Malvern Town
2 Shildon or Warrington Rylands v North Ferriby or West Auckland Town
3 Stourport Swifts or Walsall Wood v Anstey Nomads or Wellingborough Town
4 Mulbarton Wanderers v Long Eaton United or Westfields
or Hanworth Villa
5 Cobham v Leighton Town or Walton & Hersham
6 Sutton Common Rovers or Hadley v Fakenham Town or Binfield
7 Bridgwater Town or Tavistock v United Services Portsmouth or Christchurch
8 Plymouth Parkway v Lancing or Flackwell Heath
or Clevedon Town
All ties must be played on Saturday 24 April 2021, kick-off 3.00pm

The FA provides update on NLS restructure

The FA provides update on NLS restructure

Following the curtailment of the 2020/21 league season for Steps 3-6 of the National League System (NLS), The FA’s Alliance and Leagues Committees announced that they would consider the feasibility  of undertaking the restructure at Steps 4-6 (which was intended to take effect from the 20/21 season but has been delayed due to the impact of COVID-19).

The Committees have now met to consider this matter and will be recommending to FA Council that the structural changes to the number of divisions in the NLS be completed in order to address the imbalance that currently exists and achieve the ‘pure pyramid’ at Steps 1-6.

The planned and delayed restructure comprises of one additional division at Step 4, two additional divisions at Step 5 and a reduction of divisions, from 20 to 17, at Step 6.

As part of the proposals, 110 clubs would be upwardly moved within the pyramid at Steps 4-6 in order to facilitate the new divisions, protecting the integrity of the NLS whilst supporting clubs with a desire and ambition to progress, without undermining the stability of the system. The restructure will have a positive impact on a significant number of clubs, supporting them with reduced travel and costs and providing greater opportunities for generating income via localised fixtures.

FA Council will be considering the recommendations of the Committees in due course and Clubs and Leagues will continue to be kept updated on this process.

Further information:

In summary, the Committees have proposed that:

  1. The following divisional changes will be implemented (on the basis of the previously conducted tender process) for the 2021-22 season:
    1. One new division will be created at Step 4, to be administered by the Northern Premier League;
    2. Two new divisions will be created at Step 5, to be administered by the Combined Counties League and the United Counties League; and
    3. The number of divisions at Step 6 will be reduced to 17.
  2. In order to implement these divisional changes, 110 clubs will be required to upwardly move within the pyramid at Steps 4 to 6:
    1. 20 clubs will move from Step 5 to Step 4;
    2. 60 clubs will move from Step 6 to Step 5 (20 to backfill those Clubs elevated to Step 4, and 40 to populate the two new divisions); and
    3. 30 clubs will move from Regional NLS Feeder Leagues to Step 6 (to bring Step 6 divisions to their full quota, taking into account the reduced number of divisions going forwards).
  3. The mechanism for selecting clubs required to move into the new divisions at Step 4 and Step 5 will be as follows:
    1. Each Club will be allocated an unweighted points per game figure on the basis of its completed fixtures in both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, i.e. the club’s total points across both seasons will be added together and divided by the number of games it has played across both seasons[1]
    2. Clubs will then be ranked within their respective leagues on the basis of those calculations. 
    3. Clubs who are eligible for upward movement will be identified as follows:
      1. Step 5 – The top 3 ranked clubs from each of the North West Counties League, Northern Counties East League and Northern League, along with the top ranked Club from the remaining eleven Step 5 divisions, will be considered eligible for upward movement to Step 4 and will be invited to make an application to do so. Multiple clubs will be upwardly moved from these specific leagues, as per the previous ratification by FA Council, in order to address specific challenges with travelling distance and time which exist at Step 4.
      1. Step 6 – The top 2 ranked clubs in each of the South West Peninsula League divisions, along with the top 3 ranked clubs from the eighteen remaining Step 6 divisions, will be considered eligible for upward movement to Step 5 and will be invited to make an application for upward movement. Fewer clubs will be upwardly moved from the South West Peninsula League Divisions, as per the previous ratification by FA Council, on the basis of geographical reasons for the relevant divisions at Step 5.
      1. The Committees are currently considering what additional requirements clubs who are eligible based on sporting merit will be required to meet in order to be upwardly moved via this process and further details will be communicated on this in due course.
  1. It will not be mandatory for any club which is eligible for upward movement to make an application. If an eligible club decides not to do so, the next best ranked club will be invited (and so on) subject to any cut off point deemed appropriate by the Committees.
  2. The process outlined above will lead to a need to backfill in certain divisions at Step 6 to bring them up to quota. Where there is a need to do so, the Committee will liaise with the relevant Step 6 Leagues and ask them to consider applications that were made by clubs on or before 31 December 2020 from clubs in Regional NLS Feeder Leagues within their relevant geographical area. Given the degree of variation in the number of fixtures completed by clubs in Regional NLS Feeder Leagues, the Committees did not consider it appropriate to utilise sporting data in the same way to determine upward movement. Accordingly, the proposed upward movement will be determined by the relevant Leagues on the basis of a subjective application process (although sporting data may be taken into account), with the final decision to allocate Clubs being with the Committee.
  3. All applications will be assessed by the Committees on the basis of the principles above and clubs will be allocated accordingly.

[1] NB: A Club must have played in each of the two seasons (both at the same Step) in order to be eligible for upward movement via this process.