New and existing football clubs and competitions in Essex who register for the 2020/21 campaign will be able to do so at no cost as the Essex County FA Board have confirmed affiliation will be provided free of charge, offering financial support during the extra challenges faced as a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
To complete affiliation, clubs require Legal (Public) Liability and Personal Accident Insurance. The County FA will also continue to pay 100% of the Public Liability costs for all eligible grassroots clubs as part of their affiliation and, in addition, will contribute 50% towards Personal Accident cover up to the minimum requirements. The overall pledge amounts to around £160,000.
The affiliation window for the 2020/21 season is currently scheduled to open in May. The purpose of this is to enable administration processes to begin, while physical participation cannot take place, in-line with Government social distancing guidelines. An entry fee into the County Cups for the new season will still be required, but no increase will be applied and the fees will remain frozen in price.
Essex County FA Chief Executive, Brendan Walshe, commented: “The Covid-19 outbreak is having an unprecedented impact on everyone in Essex, and throughout the whole of the nation. Everybody is adjusting to new circumstances right now. We’re dedicated to putting support in place to protect local grassroots football, including this unprecedented affiliation pledge from our Board.”
“We’re committed to sharing best practice and details about avenues of additional support, which include potential Government and Sport England funding. We continuously monitor developments and want to reassure our clubs, leagues, referees, coaches and volunteers that we’ll remain supportive and understanding of the unique challenges we face today, and in the future.”
“We recognise that the conclusion of the 2019/20 season has been extremely difficult for all concerned, and the pressures this has placed on both clubs and leagues. For any clubs or leagues who are not aware of the various areas of support, and how to access them, a resource pack has been developed which can be accessed on the Covid-19 FAQs page of our website.”
“It is clear, at this moment in time, that football is not the priority subject matter and the focus is rightly on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of everyone. We feel it’s right to place on record the thanks of the Essex County FA to all NHS staff and key workers who are making a wonderful contribution to helping many people across Essex during this crisis.”
To keep up-to-date with the latest Covid-19 developments in grassroots Essex football, and for information on how to access support, visit our dedicated Coronavirus page, follow @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and search for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.