Primary District Seven-a-Sides


Joining the Essex Football Club Community

club affiliatION DETAILS FOR 2023/24 SEASON

Commencing from 5th June

As we approach the end of the 2022/23 season, attention will soon be turning to the affiliation process for 2023/24, which is currently scheduled to open in the week commencing 5th June 2023. As part of this, the FA affiliation method will see the biggest change for almost a decade as it moves from the Whole Game System to the England Football Portals, which clubs will be familiar with as the home of Player Registration and England Football Accreditation.

Through the new FA model, and in line with the evolving landscape of football, a “team fee”, rather than a “club + team fee” model, is being introduced.  

Regional National Feeder League (Step 7) and below

As affiliation fees are no longer split into a “club fee” and a “team fee”, Essex FA’s affiliation fees have also been reviewed and aligned with the new FA model.  Essex FA has not altered, or increased, its affiliation fees for the last 15 years, and instead of grassroots clubs being charged £23 as a club fee and then £12 per team, a flat grassroots fee of £17 per team is to be introduced for 2023/24 for all teams at Regional National Feeder League (Step 7) level and below.

National League System and EFL

Team fees for clubs within the English Football League (EFL) and National League System (NLS) have also been adjusted. EFL team fees have been set at £500, NLS Step 1 & 2 teams at £250, NLS Step 3 & 4 teams at £150 and NLS Step 5 & 6 teams at £100.

Insurance Partner Sportsguard

Our partnership with Sportsguard Insurance is also continuing, so grassroots clubs can benefit from excellent and competitive personal accident insurance and public liability insurance during the affiliation process, and for the 2023/24 season Essex FA will continue to support clubs and teams with these costs by completely subsidising the cost of public liability insurance at £20 per club, and will also provide an £8 contribution per team, towards personal accident insurance costs, when these products are purchased through Sportsguard Insurance. Clubs and teams that operate above Regional National Feeder League Level will need to liaise with their respective Leagues regarding minimum levels of insurance required.

We feel this provides a consistent and streamlined offering for our member clubs and teams, whilst continuing to minimise financial costs in the current climate, as well as continuing to provide financial support towards the insurance related aspects, that are required as part of the affiliation process.

Top TIps

Once your committee has confirmed its club & team officials (including a Club Welfare Officer for Open-Age teams), they can be updated immediately via the Club Portal and you do not need to wait for the affiliation window to open to do this.

Please ensure all teams have a manager listed prior to beginning the affiliation process. Individuals already connected to the club can be selected from the drop-down menu and new individuals can be located or created via the search functionality.

All clubs with open-age teams are required to name a Club Welfare Officer (Adult Teams). You can assign an existing offer or appoint a new individual to this role via the ‘Key Officials’ tab within the ‘Officials’ menu.

Please ensure all club debts are settled prior to undertaking the affiliation process. Clubs with overdue debts will not be able to make immediate payment for affiliation.

By clicking the ‘Teams’ menu, you can easily see whether each team is compliant with FA regulations. A green circle with a green tick against your ‘Officials’, ’Qualifications’ and ‘Team Ground’ means the team is ready to be affiliated once the window opens. An exclamation mark in a yellow circle means action is required.

You can already select your Team Grounds within the Club Portal. Once you have updated your team grounds from the ‘My Club’ menu, be sure to assign the correct teams to the correct grounds as this will speed up your affiliation once the window is open.

It is now mandatory for all managers and coaches of youth teams to have completed Safeguarding Children Training. To support grassroots volunteers to meet the new requirement, a 50% discount code has been distributed that will be valid through May, June & July. Non-compliant coaches have been contacted by The FA, but if you require your code, please contact Essex FA.

You can complete the mandatory Safeguarding Declaration immediately via ‘My Club’ and then the ‘Documentation’ tab. You’ll then need to view the document before you can accept the Declaration.


Any QuestionsIf you have a question regarding the affiliation process, please contact the relevant member of our Affiliations Team:

Group One (Braintree, Colchester, Maldon, Tendring): Paige Wakefield (01245) 393081 or

Group Two (Brentwood, Chelmsford, Epping Forest, Harlow, Uttlesford): Martin Angelo (01245) 393080 or

Group Three (Basildon, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea, Thurrock): Robert Craven (01245) 393082 or

Group Four (Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Waltham Forest): Andy Sargent (01245) 393083 or



Affiliation Support

Ahead of the affiliation process opening you can find an introduction to the changes to the affiliation process on The FA’s Grassroots Technology Knowledge Base by Clicking here.

You can also find guidance about the various requirements depending on the type of teams that are being affiliated by Clicking here.

The FA Technology Adoption Team recently ran a one-hour session explaining the new process for clubs. You can watch a recording of that session by clicking here.

A lot of work has gone into preparing the Club Portal for the upcoming changes and much of the functionality is already in place. The FA have also enlisted the help of some of the volunteer workforce to test the ‘end-to-end’ affiliation process from a club perspective and provide valuable feedback over the past few weeks.

We will be in contact with clubs ahead of 5th June to confirm individual aspects of tailored support including details of training events and further links to useful resources.

In the intervening period, we would recommend ensuring that club and team official information and ground details for your teams are kept up-to-date on the Club Portal to ensure the smoothest route through the new process.

If you have any queries about affiliations for next season, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Football Services Officer or check our FAQs section below. 


From the 2023/24 season, the affiliation process will be undertaken via the Club Portal and not the Whole Game System. Log-in details will be same.

The affiliation process is scheduled to open in the week commencing 5th June. Essex FA will contact all existing clubs and new clubs that have been in contact previously to advise when this can be accessed.

Only those individuals that are deemed ‘Key Officials’ will be able to undertake the affiliation process. These roles are:

  • Secretary
  • Chairperson
  • Treasurer
  • Club Welfare Officer

No, the County Cup process can be completed at any time after the affiliation window has opened until 31st July.

No, affiliation numbers will not be issued via the Club Portal. Leagues and your County FA will be able to view the ‘Affiliation Status’ of each team, which will be updated the moment changes are made.

From the ‘Teams’ menu, click on ‘Manage Competitions’ and select ‘Manage County Cups’ from the drop-down menu. Only those County Cup competitions that each team may be able to enter will be shown, and Essex FA will check entries prior to raising invoices.

We will be raising invoices for County Cup entries once league constitutions have been received and we have had the chance to check teams are entered into the correct competitions. 

From the ‘Teams’ menu, click on ‘Manage Competitions’ and select ‘Remove from League’ to remove your existing membership. Then return to ‘Manage Competitions’ and select ‘Assign to League’ from the drop-down menu. You will only be able to make a change to your league whilst there are no registered players assigned to the team.

Yes, you can take out public liability and personal accident insurance through Essex FA’s recommended provider, Sportsguard, during the affiliation process under the ‘Club Insurance’ and ‘Team Insurance’ stages.

If a club elects to take out public liability and personal accident insurance through Essex FA’s recommended provider, Sportsguard, during the affiliation process, and the club has no overdue debts, an invoice will be raised automatically at the end of the process.

11-a-side football is not permitted in June, but from the 1st July teams can begin playing fixtures providing their ‘Affiliation Status’ shows they are affiliated.

You can complete the mandatory Safeguarding Declaration immediately via ‘My Club’ and then the ‘Documentation’ tab. You’ll then need to view the document before you can accept the Declaration.

No, you can stagger the submission of teams depending on those that are ready to be affiliated. This prevents an affiliation being held up due to one team having a non-compliant official.

No, for the 2023/24 season, all invoices must be paid in full and cannot be broken down.