Discussions with colleagues from futsal clubs playing in the different British nations show there is a strong appetite for an annual club competition – the British Futsal Club Cup – that would allow clubs from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales to play against each other in a friendly tournament over a long weekend every summer.
The tournament would have the following structure, although all details are open for community discussion before a final decision is agreed between the clubs in the four nations (who would then seek sanction to enter this competition by their respective National Governing Bodies in the usual way):
- The tournament would be held over three or four days during the summer period, after the end of the futsal and football seasons.
- Two teams would enter the tournament from each nation, so there would be a total of eight teams from the four nations. The two teams from LNFS England would be the finalists in our Premiership play-off competition. Criteria for entries from other nations would be for the clubs in each home nation to decide.
- The tournament venue would rotate around the nations each year. LNFS England would be happy to host the inaugural tournament in 2022 – at a venue in either the Midlands or the North with an international standard court and spectator seating (e.g. St. Georges’s Park).
- The competition structure would be:
- Two groups of four teams, with one club from each nation in each group, allocated at random. The four teams in each group play each other once, so every team has three matches during the group stage against a team from each other nation. There would be a total of 12 matches in the group stage (6 per group), with two matches per group per day (i.e. four matches across both groups) run over a period of three days, so every team plays once a day.
- The top team from each group plays in a grand final to determine the overall tournament champion, with the possibility of additional matches for other teams beforehand to determine overall rankings (i.e. 3rd to 8th place).
- All matches would be filmed and broadcast.
- The host country league would pay for the venue, match officials, and match broadcasting and may choose to charge a spectator admission fee. Each team would pay for its own travel and accommodation. Any sponsorship for the tournament would be used first to reduce or eliminate the expenses of the host and then to reduce or eliminate the expenses of the participating teams. Once all host and participant expenses are reimbursed any surplus from the tournament would belong to the host.
We look forward to working with clubs and NGBs to progress this exciting initiative as soon as key colleagues in all Home Nations return from furlough.