Kent Youth League CEO Ken Brooke threatens to shut down League if referee abuse continues

Monday 11th October 2021

The chief executive of the Kent Youth League admits his hands are tied as he aims to banish abuse aimed at referees coming from coaches, players and parents during games on Sundays.

Ken Brooke revealed on Twitter that two experienced referees are threatening to quit officiating in the League after suffering abuse during yesterday’s matches and has threatened to shut down the League if the abuse continues.

“Reading some of your reasons why we are losing match officials, two experienced referees are threatening to quit after the abuse they received yesterday from parents and coaches. It’s a massive issue,” said Mr Brooke.

“I will share with you what we can and can’t do as our hands are very tied about what we can do.

“We are governed by the Standard Code of Rules Youth (SCORY) which are issued to all youth League’s from The Football Association.

“There is no provision for deducting points for poor discipline or behaviour.

“Any player, manager or parent reported by the referee is reported to the County office (Kent, London, Sussex or Surrey), they decide the punishment, not the Leagues.

“We cannot punish further and so our hands are tied.  We cannot ban players or parents from our leagues, the FA won’t allow it.

“We rely totally on the County offices to administer the punishment.

“As a League we would like to have more powers but we don’t and so our hands are tied.

“We rely on clubs to sort out their issues regarding behaviour and we are pro-active in this.  Ultimately, it is up to all of you to look at yourselves and to adopt a level of behaviour that is acceptable – but that is clearly not happening.

“If we say we have had enough then if the League shuts down, then what? Difficult times.”

The Kent Youth League was founded in 1981 and has developed to provide football for footballers between the ages of under 13s and under 18s.

Former players that have started their careers in the League include striker Ian Wright and centre-half Chris Smalling, who both went on to play for England and in the Premier League.

Visit The Kent Youth League website: