Affiliation and Insurance Update

Free 2021/22 Affiliation and New Sportsguard Insurance Partnership

Clubs, Teams and Competitions Can Register With No Cost

2021/22 affiliation will be provided free of charge for new and existing football clubs and competitions in Essex following a decision by the Essex County FA Board to offer additional financial support during the extra challenges faced as a result of Covid-19.

A new partnership has also been announced with a specialist sports insurance broker, Sportsguard. And, as part of that partnership for the 2021/22 season, the Essex County FA will continue to pay 100% of the Sportsguard Legal (Public) Liability costs for all eligible grassroots clubs as part of their affiliation, as well as contributing almost 50% towards Sportsguard Personal Accident cover up to the minimum requirements. The overall affiliation and insurance pledge amounts to a circa £140,000 investment to support grassroots football.

The process will also be streamlined, saving time and effort for volunteers, by providing an integrated process via the FA Whole Game System and the Club Portal, including the purchasing of insurance products at the point of affiliation. The affiliation window for the 2021/22 season is currently scheduled to open on Monday 10th May.

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. Any team who was still in an Essex County FA County Cup at the conclusion of the 2020/21 competitions will be given free entry to next season’s competitions.

Essex County FA Chief Executive, Brendan Walshe, is enthusiastic about the pledge: “The 2020/21 season has been a very difficult season for all as the Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on everyone in Essex and beyond.”

“Clubs, leagues and volunteers across the game have shown tremendous commitment and spirit to continue to provide football opportunities to serve local communities during this time, with vital physical and mental wellbeing benefits. And, as we continue to emerge from the pandemic and adjust to new circumstances, the Essex County FA are dedicated to supporting and protecting local grassroots football in every way we can.”

“The continued affiliation support package for the 2021/22 season is an example of that. We are also committed to continuing to promote and share best practice and details about avenues of additional support and funding, as well as continuously monitoring developments, and adapting accordingly.”

“We remain understanding of the unique challenges we face today, and in the future. We also wish to again place on record the thanks of the Essex County FA to all NHS staff and key workers who are continuing to make a wonderful contribution to helping many people across Essex during this crisis.”

Keep up-to-date with the latest developments in grassroots Essex football in the menus above, by following @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.

new sportsguard partnership

Insurance Cover Secured for Grassroots Football Clubs

To complete 2021/22 season affiliation, grassroots football clubs require Legal (Public) Liability and Personal Accident Insurance. The Essex County FA and specialist sports insurance brokers, Sportsguard, have agreed a new partnership to provide this cover.

For all eligible grassroots clubs arranging insurance through Sportsguard, the County FA will continue to pay 100% of the Legal Liability costs as part of their affiliation, as well as contributing 50% towards Personal Accident cover up to the minimum requirements.

Sportsguard were formed in 1989 with the primary focus of working with grassroots sports clubs. The family-owned business have since grown from modest beginnings to become one of the largest and most recognised sports brokers in the United Kingdom.

Sports insurance is Sportsguard’s primary business and focus - not just part of a larger portfolio - and they offer a practical solution in how they administer their schemes via the FA Whole Game System. It is a tried and tested method for its simplicity - club officials simply select a cover option on the ‘Products’ page and that is their job done.

As for players, Sportsguard have included a whole selection of additional benefits to the scheme on both the adult and youth policies to try and give the maximum level of protection. Sportsguard are dedicated to supporting players, teams, clubs and associations with their sports insurance needs. A dedicated page has been created on the Sportsguard website containing useful information and FAQs, which you can access here.

Essex County FA Chief Executive, Brendan Walshe, is delighted to welcome Sportsguard as official partners, explaining: “It’s with great pleasure that we’re able to confirm our partnership with Sportsguard, a well-recognised name in grassroots football.”

“Sportsguard have provided excellent insurance cover for clubs for decades and we look forward to Essex’s clubs benefiting from their considerable expertise and experience. In the modern game, it’s crucial that the relevant levels of cover are in place to protect players and everyone involved in grassroots games, and Sportsguard have a strong reputation for providing this.”

“We would like to thank Bluefin for their support and partnership in the preceding years, but we recognised the financial challenges facing clubs in the months ahead and wanted our members to benefit from the competitive pricing and insurance product offered by Sportsguard.”  

Richard Culley, Director of Sportsguard, added: “We’re delighted, and feel privileged, to partner with such a historic County FA. Some of the nation’s most recognised footballers have come from Essex and we’re proud to support grassroots football in the area. We welcome the Essex County FA, and their members, to our schemes and are proud to be working together from the 2021/22 season.”

“These types of policies are designed to help injured players when they need it most. Without adequate insurance, the players will suffer, so they need to be aware of the different options available. The highest level of cover in the Essex County FA scheme would cost under £10 per person, per year based on 18 players in the team. Monthly, it would be 83p per person.”

Club Affiliation and Sportsguard Insurance Sessions

Online Webinars for Extra Support and Guidance

We're running two training sessions, both of which will introduce Sportsguard as new personal accident insurance providers, and refresh and review the club affiliation process via the FA Whole Game System.

These will be ideal for secretaries or chairs who complete the affiliation process on behalf of their club. Links to the sessions, which will be held on Microsoft Teams, will be sent on the working day prior to the session booked. You can sign-up by following this link.

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