Return to Football GUIDANCE
With grassroots friendlies returning this month, please see a video we have produced to highlight the key essentials you’ll need to put in place at your club before you return to football.
Welcome to London FA's COVID-19 support page.
As a city and a community, we're facing an unprecedented situation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Following the suspension of grassroots football and The FA's decision to cancel the 2019/20 season for non-league, women's and grassroots teams, London FA understands that leagues and clubs will have questions or wish to access support to deal with this situation.
Available at the links below are, hopefully, the answers to some of the questions you have - in addition to some links to helpful resources.
We are planning to update all our clubs and leagues regularly.
A full and up-to-date Coronavirus statement from the FA and London FA can be found by clicking here
Answers to more specific questions are below. We hope they're of use and will keep this updated too as more queries come our way.
London FA has been working closely with the FA and the wider grassroots game to clarify what this means for London’s clubs and leagues. Following direct guidance from the FA and to support leagues in the decisions they make, we recommend strongly that two options are considered:
a. Competitions are brought to an immediate end with results expunged (i.e. without promotion or relegation occurring).
b. League positions and promotion and relegation are resolved by a points per game calculation.
We would ask that leagues consider expunging results in line with the NLS and women’s pyramid to support consistency across the game. We also strongly recommend that, when planning for next season, consideration is given to placing teams into the right division based on their capability, especially when it comes to youth football.
There should be greater flexibility around cup competitions, with options including simply cancelling the competition, trophy sharing (if finalists already determined), or delaying of finals possibly to a “season opener” for the 20/21 season.
Any more specific questions, please email the team on email@example.com
This is a club or league decision. We would advise that you consult with clubs, players, parents and guardians on 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 instalments?
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?
As things stand, there is no football specific emergency grant funding available to support clubs. We would draw your attention to 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
London FA is currently developing a support package for clubs and leagues in London that will provide detailed advice and guidance on managing this very challenging financial situation. This will be released shortly.
Sport England have launched a £195 million package to help sport and physical activity through coronavirus. The money will help partners, clubs and community organisations cope with the short and long-term impact of the pandemic. Click here for more information.
Charities Aid Foundation - Coronavirus Emergency Fund
This fund is to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available. Please click here for more.
Following the latest FA and Government advice issued on 1 June 2020, limited training activity may take place. Please click here to read the update in full and to find out more about what is and isn't permitted.
London FA had mandated that all clubs should not train until The FA lifts the postponement of all grassroots football. We have consulted with our insurance provider Sportsguard and any clubs who use the County FA scheme for Personal Accident and Public Liability insurance must adhere to this instruction. Clubs and teams who ignore this instruction will not be insured and will not be able to make any claims against their policies.
Those clubs who do not have Sportsguard insurance in place will need to check with their insurance provider.
The London FA County Cups Committee have taken the decision to postpone all County Cup fixtures (including finals and all other fixtures).
Reviews will naturally take into account the updated decision by the FA to conclude the 2019-20 season. Please click here for the latest update.
All football is currently postponed. As a result of this London FA will not be sanctioning any tournaments until the suspension is lifted by The FA.
Please contact your dedicated Annual Health Check member of staff at London FA, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for updated guidance and assistance with completing your check.
Yes, clubs and leagues can still apply to become FA Charter Standard accredited. Click here for information on how to apply.
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. The FA is strongly advising that no football is played for the foreseeable future and therefore FA registered referees are asked not to officiate in any environment at this time.
All coaches must have an accepted DBS is they are working in regulated activity with young people under the age of 18. Please click here for the latest information on DBS checks during this time.
All coach and referee education programmes have been postponed, and will be rescheduled for a suitable date, once it is safe to do so.
Participants already booked onto these courses will have their place automatically reserved on a future course and so do not need to cancel their booking. We are also exploring with the FA the possibility of conducting some of the planned coach and referee education online and via digital channels, and have been able to do this with a number of our Level 1 and Level 2 learners already, through the HIVE learning platform.
Until face-to-face courses can safely resume - have a look at some free online courses by clicking here
Anyone with concerns should contact the coach or referee education teams on email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
Following The FA's announcement, all 'grassroots' league football, club football, training, and friendly fixtures continue to be postponed until further notice.
We are planning to update all our clubs and leagues regularly.
This feedback will allow us to develop a plan to support our clubs and leagues through this challenging period. We already have on our website further information on funding opportunities such as ‘Grow the Game’, that can provide financial assistance to clubs at this stage.
All remaining club safeguarding visits have been postponed indefinitely.
Regular updates will be provided by London FA to the Club and League Welfare Officer network. Any safeguarding concerns should be directed to the email@example.com email address in the first instance.
Urgent queries should go to one of our two Designated Safeguarding Officers – Nikeeta Patel or Jake Rosewell, whose details can be found by clicking here
We are aware of a number of queries regarding the postponement of safeguarding related training and the process for DBS checks. We’re working with the FA nationally to seek a solution to these issues and will keep you updated with all developments in this area. Rest assured we understand the impact that this situation can have on meeting specific safeguarding standards and do get in touch with our safeguarding or development teams if you have any concerns.
CLICK HERE FOR AN FA UPDATE ON DBS CHECKS DURING THIS TIME
All personal hearings will be postponed as a precautionary measure. Correspondence hearings will be offered and these will be dealt with via WebEx (video conferencing). Should the appellant wish for the matter to be dealt with via personal hearing, they must wait until personal hearings are available again. Should an interim suspension be in place, and the appellant still wish to have a personal hearing; that interim suspension will remain in place until the case is heard.
We will continue to monitor all Government advice and keep the situation under constant review, with the priority being the health and wellbeing of all. Further updates will follow as needed.
ANYONE CONCERNED THAT THEY MAY HAVE SYMPTOMS, HOWEVER MILD, SHOULD VISIT 111.NHS.UK FOR ADVICE ON THE NEXT STEPS.