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COVID 19 FAQs

Please find below some helpful FAQ's relating to COVID-19 and the Amateur FA

Can we still charge subscription fees whilst no football is being played?

This is for the club to decide. We would advise that you consult with club members before reaching a decision. Clubs who own / lease facilities will still have bills to pay and this should be explained. However, clubs should be mindful of people who are currently out of work as result of COVID-19 or have had their working hours reduced and may struggle to make payments. 

Could you offer payment holidays for those in need? 

Can you allow subscriptions to be paid in installments? 

Would people be prepared to pay an advance on their subs to help the club out in the short-term if they are able to? 

Is any funding available for clubs?

At this stage, there is no specific emergency fund for football.

Please have a look at the support announced by the Chancellor in response to COVID-19.

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

• a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs   
• a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England   
• small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
• grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
• the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
• a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans  
• the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

We have been contacted by several clubs/teams about the facility bookings they have in place, and the possibilities of support to claim money back for unused bookings. We advise that you liaise directly with the facility operator over the coming weeks to understand what their position is. You may wish to refer to your terms and conditions of hire as a starting point to dialogue.

Please note we are continually reviewing the feedback we have received from clubs and looking at the support measures we can put in place to ensure the continuation of grassroots football.

Can my club still apply for Football Foundation Grow the Game funding?

Despite the current situation, Grow the Game 2020 (delivered by the Football Foundation) will remain live. This is a funding stream to support the development of new affiliated women, girls and disability playing within FA affiliated leagues.

The application window will remain open until Sunday 31st May 2020. Applications will be reviewed, and funding will be awarded, on a first come, first served basis.

There are grants of £1,500 per new team, and a maximum of two new teams can be created per grant application. Teams must be created in Year 1 of the project (the season following their offer in 2020/21). For more information and to apply, please use the following link - https://footballfoundation.org.uk/grant/grow-the-game

Can teams still train?


No - all football is currently suspended. This includes matches, friendlies and training.


Will our insurance still be valid if we decide to train as a club?

If a club ignores instructions from the County FA, their insurance will become invalid and will not be able to make any claims against their policies. 

Those clubs who do not have Bluefin insurance in place will need to check with their insurance provider.

Will leagues continue once grassroots football resumes? Will County Cup Finals continue?

Grassroots will not resume for the 19/20 season. 

We will work with our leagues and clubs to work out the best course of action for when football resumes.

When any firm decisions have been made, we will communicate these to clubs.

Can we take part in tournaments or ask for tournaments to be sanctioned?

All football is currently suspended. The County FA will not be sanctioning any tournaments until the suspension is lifted by The FA. 

My clubs Charter Standard Annual Health Check has not yet been awarded. Will we lose our status?

Clubs who have not yet submitted their health check have until 30th April to do so.

The County FA will be communicating directly with clubs whose health check has not yet been awarded.

I am a registered referee. Can I still referee for small-sided football providers?

All FA registered referees should only be officiating in FA-affiliated leagues, competitions and tournaments. Refereeing in unaffiliated football could result in disciplinary action being taken by the County FA. FA registered referees are asked not to officiate in any environment at this time.

My FA DBS needs verifying. How can my documents be verified?

Until further notice, no new FA DBS applications (including renewals) be processed until further notice.

If a DBS expires during the suspension of grassroots football, will a coach or referee be able to continue coaching/refereeing once the season restarts?

Until further notice, no new FA DBS applications (including renewals) will be processed until further notice.

When will FA Coach Education and Referee courses resume?

All courses are postponed for the foreseeable future. When the current Government advice changes and we receive confirmation from FA Education that courses can resume we will make an announcement.  

Will CFA’s be refunding monies for County Discipline cases during the season.

No.  The Sanctions imposed are as a result of misconduct committed and are not dependent on the completion of a season.  This would be a similar scenario to matches abandoned where the game has not completed but the sanctions remain.


Will outstanding suspensions be waived?

As per the regulations any suspension outstanding following the last competitive fixture will be served at the commencement of the next season.  On that basis any suspension that remains outstanding will be served at the commencement of competitive football.  

It should also be remembered that there are still some Cup Competitions (including some County Cups), that still hope to be operating, depending on Government restrictions/advice, this season.  Any suspension in place will still be in operation for these matches.

Are Fines CFAs are owed going to get paid?
 
There is no reason why they won’t be recovered eventually.  Majority of teams will re affiliate and most are paying on line as normal.

WGS is still producing fines that roll over automatically, do these need altering / turning off?

IT have already stopped the production of late fines so no further late payments or Club/Team suspensions are imposed as a result of non-payment.  This is being taken to reflect the pressures of the volunteer workforce within Clubs that will clearly have other priorities at this time. 

Will teams be penalised for having excessive discipline points at the end of the season (e.g. now or will they be removed)


With the lack of games being played it is unlikely that any team will be surpassing the threshold from now.  For those that have, this falls into the category of sanctions committed referred to above.

 
What is the position on hearing current misconduct cases?  Is there any special advice for panels to consider as mitigation when concluding appropriate sanctions? 


Guidance has previously been issued to Counties – No Personal hearings are to be held at this stage in line with Government guidance – CFA’s are to ask Clubs if they want to proceed on papers – They can then be held by WebEx.  
If the Participants want a Personal Hearing – they will be heard when restrictions are relaxed



Should league appeals relating to this season still be heard?
 
Yes – by WebEx where possible and on papers only

I am concerned for the mental health and well-being of club members. What resources are available?

Please find attached our guide on mental health and well-being, which includes top tips to improve health and well-being. It covers; nutrition, exercise and mental health.

Helpful links, resources and telephone numbers are:

FA Heads Up - http://www.thefa.com/about-football-association/heads-up

Mind - https://www.mind.org.uk/

CALM - https://www.thecalmzone.net/

Calm (meditation) - https://www.calm.com/

Time to Talk (resources for clubs) - http://www.amateur-fa.com/news/2020/jan/16/time-to-talk-day-2020

NHS (useful links and numbers) - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/

Good Samaritans - 116 123 from any phone

If you have any further questions regarding the above or a question which has not been answered, please contact a member of the AFA staff. All contact details can be found here - http://www.amateur-fa.com/about/board-and-staff