There's lots of ill-informed back and forth in the media about the fact the Poppies are signing players, and wondering why these players should be allowed to be better than the ones we had previously. The Non League Paper (AKA Never Liked Poppies) has been a platform for disgruntled supporters from clubs that have lost players to us, as well as a swathe of angry people, all, curiously, with NN9 postcodes.
But how exactly do players at this level move between clubs? Well, basically everyone in the Southern League can move as and when they like, as is shown by this extract from the Southern League Handbook: -
Section 17, sub section 4.1.2. Paragraph 2: -
"Any club can make a 7-day enquiry, in writing for any player at another club not employed under a permanent contract.
Except when clause 21.4 is enforced."
Clause 21.4: -
"When Kettering Town make a 7-day approach for a player, the following caveats must be observed. No player to speak to Kettering Town FC until: -
(A) All of the supporters of the target club are canvassed for their opinions. This can be via the club website, or in the matchday programme.
(B) If any of the supporters donated to the Poppies "Just Giving" campaign they are to be contacted by the Poppies Chairman, in writing, 30-days prior to any approach. They can summon the Poppies Chairman to a meeting at a location and date to be arranged.
(C) The Editorial committee at the Non League Paper must be informed in time for them to produce an anti-Poppies story for their next issue.
(D) The proposed approach for a player must be run past the AFC Rushden & Diamonds standing committee investigating on-going affairs involving Kettering Town FC.
(E) This committee has 60-days to produce it's findings to a quorum collection of associated Diamonds Soviets, ahead of their accumulated recommendations being voted upon at their bi-annual torchlight club rally . The decisions of "Diamondnacht" to the debated by club members for up to 12-months on their online forum, AKA "What are the Poppies up to?"
(F) The population of Burton Latimer to attend a Council meeting where the proposed move is voted upon by a simple show of hands. Zippy Zanger to wobble his jowels at this point.
(G) The local Police can interject at this point, particularly if Christmas is coming up and they fancy a bit of a bung to help their seasonal fun go with a bang.
(H) The 7-day approach can now move to the next stage. This assumes: -
(i) All the supporters of the club in question are in agreement with the 7-day approach.
(ii) The Non League Paper can wring a couple move pages of Poppies-stirring dirt.
(iii) The residents of Burton don't vote the proposed move down.
(iv) The Diamonds supporters can angrily beat themselves frantically off once more at the fact the Poppies survived when their own club was finished without anyone giving a flying f*ck.
(v) The Police have written themselves a hefty cheque on the KTFC chequebook.
Permission may be given at the discretion of the Southern League for KTFC to commence the initial paperwork for the Poppies approach.
(I) Once the requisite paperwork has been completed, then locked in an air-proof, lead-lined vault for 6-months, then removed and checked for any errors, inaccuracies or poor use of grammar, it can be forwarded to the target club for their perusal.
(J) There now most commence a cooling-off period of no less than 2-years.
(K) A cockerel must be sacrificed at the Southern League offices.
(L) All the relevant parties to be consulted one final time. Any of them can black-ball the proposed move at this time.
(M) Assuming all the relevant permissions and forms are successfully lodged with the league, Kettering can make a 7-day approach.
(N) However, Kettering Town FC must under no circumstances offer the player more money than their current club, regardless of his level of earnings. Or supply them with clean kit. Or allow them to play if front of a larger crowd than he previously played in front of.
(O) If all is agreed the player may complete their move to Kettering Town FC just as soon as £10,000 bonds are lodged with the original club, the League, AFC R&D Finance Soviet, and the Non League Paper.
(P) The new Poppies player will be available for selection the following season after the receipt of all 5025 pages of the transfer documentation, completed in triplicate and translated into Sanskrit. And verified by the League's legal team, as and when time allows. Please allow 5-years for this process.
(Q) The player move can now be commenced, unless Kettering Borough Council want to join in at this juncture and piss all over the proposed deal.
(R) Or Keith Cousins comes out from under his rock with his hand out again.
(S) Ditto George Rolls.
(T) Ditto Imraan Ladak.
(U) Congratulations Kettering, you have signed your player! Unless he has retired in the meantime.