Member clubs have been invited to give their input into a consultation regarding behaviour in technical areas during games.
League Chairman Paul Lawler has issued the following message to clubs, following a meeting of the Board of Directors of the League last week, when the decision was taken to undertake the consultation.
"We are increasingly concerned with the ongoing misbehaviour from benches and within the technical areas, which is bringing the League into disrepute.
The current rules about the number of people allowed in the technical area, and no more than two standing isn’t working, so we are considering various options to try and improve the situation.
We have a number of recent incidents reported by match officials and Management Committee members, which highlight behaviour which is akin to park football, and we don’t believe this is acceptable at our level of the game.
We are considering a number of options to try and force improvements. Our intention is to improve behaviour, not generate further revenue for the League, but unfortunately exploring financial penalties is one measure that does positively impact clubs behaviour.
Therefore, we are opening a consultation on how as a League we can resolve this issue. Clubs are invited to contribute by sharing their views with the League Secretary no later than 28 February, so a solution can be tabled at the next Management Committee meeting in March, for implementation next season.
Possible solutions currently being considered:
1. Increase current financial penalty for more than two standing, including proportional fines in relation to the number of people standing, e.g. the more standing, the greater the penalty.
2. Only allow one standing at any time, and managers/coach can only stand while coaching, so should return to their seats.
3. One person from within the management team to be responsible for the behaviour of the technical area - the League will communicate with these people for training and development purposes.
4. Reducing the number of people allowed on the benches to key technical staff only.
5. Introduction of 4th officials in all three divisions to help manage the behaviour.
6. Possible registration embargo on persistent offenders.
I trust you will give this your immediate attention and submit your Club’s position on this by the deadline".