Running an American Football club is expensive, so we rely on regular income from player fees or ‘subs’ to cover our costs. Without that money we wouldn’t be able to pay for training facilities, book buses or afford all of the other things our five teams need.
How it works
Each of our five teams has it’s own bank account, and charges different player fees based on what it costs to run that team. The charge for each team is an annual amount for each competition year, split into 12 monthly payments to make it more affordable for our players. Annual fees are currently as follows:
Senior team – £264 for veterans, £192 for rookies, students and unemployed.
Junior team – £180
Youth teams – £120
Women’s team – £180 flag only, £240 contact only, £300 both
All new players get an initial free trial period of three weeks, but after that point we ask that a standing order is set up for payment.
Our payment year runs from October – October. So each season’s team fees must be paid off in full by 31 October of that year. (Except for women’s football, which runs from August – August)
What we expect
We require all of our players, or their parents if under 18, to pay monthly subs by standing order. We only accept cash by exception and by prior agreement with that team’s Head Coach and the club treasurer or chairman.
What happens if you fall behind
Players who fall behind on their player fees without prior agreement will become ineligible to play in games or tournaments, and may also be unable to train with the team until their debt is cleared. They will also be unable to buy team merchandise or attend club events. For players with kit on loan, we will also request that kit is returned until they are no longer in debt to the club.
Players still in debt in October of each year will be placed on the British American Football Association’s debtors list, and will not be able to transfer to another team until this debt has been cleared satisfactorily.
We provide a regular update to players in our senior team on their subs balance based on the previous month’s bankings, and to all other team members on request. We are also happy to share or answer questions on all aspects of our income and expenditure.
We’re very upfront about what our player subs include, and what they don’t. All practices, gameday expenses and team organised travel are included. We will never charge extra for travel costs for any play off games. Extra charges will apply for any residential camps, team social events, or overnight accommodation when travelling if required.
Youth, junior and senior players will also need to pay an annual league registration fee. This must be paid individually and is mandatory across the sport and makes you eligible for competition and provides insurance. Women pay a competition fee for flag and kitted. Fees are currently as follows:
Senior – £35
Junior – £25
Youth – £15
Women’s Opal – £20
Women’s Sapphire – £26
For youth, junior and women’s team players kit is provided on loan once a standing order is in place. Senior team players will need to buy their own equipment. We can’t provide this. We do have a small pool of kit to share out in the first few weeks so you can get a feel for the sport and see if it’s for you. We recommend attending a few sessions to see what you think before buying kit.
Frequently asked questions
We’re regularly asked the same questions about subs – here are answers to some of the common ones….
Why can’t I just give you cash?
A standing order makes life easier for you and us. Firstly, once you set it up and if you continue to pay it regularly – that’s you. No chasing required! Making a bank payment also protects you and us – it gives us both an indisputable record of what you’ve paid and when. We also have over 200 players across the club, which makes it hard work to record, bank and track lots of different cash payments. Our club staff are also all volunteers, which can make it difficult to get to a bank during the week and our non-coaching backroom staff aren’t able to attend every practice to collect subs.
What is a standing order?
This is a regular payment from your bank account to our bank account. Bank account details are available for each team on request, and are regularly shared in our team Facebook pages. You can usually set up a standing order in your online banking, or via telephone banking. Alternatively, you can go into your branch. To make life easier for you, we also provide standing order forms that players or parents can complete and return to us and we’ll take them to a bank for you! Always make sure your name (or the name of your player if you’re a parent) is in the reference field so we know who it’s from, and we suggest avoiding the first or last few days of the month when choosing a payment date.
I’ve quit the team part way through the season – why do I still need to pay?
We charge an annual fee, not a monthly one. We base our budget on the number of players we have on the roster for the season ahead. For our senior, junior and women’s (from 2016/2017 season onwards) teams we ask players to sign a player agreement committing to pay the full fee for the year ahead. This usually takes place just before the start of the season, at the point we expect players to have decided if they wish to play with us this year and fully commit to the club. Think of it like a phone contract that you agree to pay on a monthly basis for a certain period of time, not pay as you go.
We will also always treat each case individually where injury or other extenuating circumstances apply.
I’ve paid money into the account but your update doesn’t include it / you still have me listed as a debtor?
If you’re in our senior team, then the update we provide is based on the PREVIOUS month’s bankings. Our updates always reflect where you should be at that point in time. We have a treasurer’s account and we work from monthly statements. For example, this means we don’t see what’s been banked in March until the March statement drops on the door mat in early April. So if you pay in money in March, we won’t update it to your personal balance until April. All the more reason to pay promptly by standing order.
This issue could also be caused by money being paid in without a narrative – which means some text in the reference field to explains who it’s from. Or, sometimes if you set up a standing order for the last or first day of the month, it might be missed out on that month’s statements depending on the statement cut off date for that month is. We recommend avoiding the first or last few days of the month when setting up a payment for exactly this reason.
What if i’m having money problems?
We know that sometimes life doesn’t go quite to plan – so if you find yourself in financial difficulties, let us know as soon as possible so we can discuss your circumstances and agree a way forward. Please don’t just ignore the problem.
Practice isn’t currently on – why do we still have to pay if there’s no team activity?
As outlined above, our subs are based on an annual fee and are used to budget for the year ahead. We split the fees into 12 monthly payments to make them more affordable for you rather than asking for more money over a shorter period of time. We also often have out of season activities going on too – such as conditioning training, awards nights or training events that have costs attached too or have team registration fees to pay so we need a continuous stream of income.
I left ages ago – why are you still taking money from my bank account?
Standing orders are not the same as direct debits. A standing order can only be cancelled by the account holder – in other words, it has to be you who tells your bank online, on the phone or in person to stop making the payment. Unlike a direct debit, we can’t do this for you. We can’t even see what bank the money comes from! It’s your responsibility to cancel any payments to us. Should any overpayment occur due to a player’s failure to cancel a standing order, we will only return a maximum of £100 of any overpayment. We will, of course, inform players if we spot continuing standing order activity that continues for months – as long as you’ve clearly communicated to our treasurer or chairman that you’ve left our organisation.
Where does my money go?
All money the money your pay in is spent on running our teams. This means paying for practice facilities, gameday venues, team registration fees, gameday medical cover costs, gameday officials, first aid supplies, training and development for our coaching staff amongst many other things. We have Community Amateur Sports Club status with HMRC, and are an entirely non-profit making organisation. No one takes a salary and only reasonable expenses are refunded for travel or other costs incurred by our club officers or coaches when on club business.
Can I see your accounts?
All registered members of our club can request to see our accounts at any point, and our treasurer and chairman are always happy to answer questions relating to income and expenditure.
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