Dear All Secretaries and Committee Members.
As you are all aware, we are currently faced with an unprecedented situation which, in reality, did not have a contingency plan. Since the FA announced that all grassroots football be suspended, with immediate effect, we have been faced with an impossible task of what to do with the League.
As a committee we have spent much time discussing the complications of the issue and we have had to make some difficult decisions.
Overall, the reality is that we are not able to complete the 2019/20 season and so ultimately decisions have been made on how to finalise the league.
Along with the completion of the leagues, all clubs should also be aware that all of our cup competitions have been declared as null and void.
At this stage, we do not know when the ban on grassroots football will be lifted and therefore we will be proposing the constitution of divisions and league format without knowing the dynamics for next season. Should the season start in Aug/Sep 2020 then we will release the format and changes at that time.
Something I would like to make clear is that whenever the League starts the season will see the merger of the Premiership and Championship. If we have a full season available to play then we will run a full programme but if we delay the start of the season, then we will have to address that when we know the full picture.
As a committee we will make a 50% reduction on affiliations for next season, so 2020/21 affiliation fees for existing clubs will reduce from £75.00 to £37.50. I will be sending out letters in May 2020 for next season therefore any teams that currently owe any monies to the League must ensure this is paid to the League no later than 31st May in order to secure an affiliation at the reduced price.
We would like to point out that at this stage we do not know when grassroots football will return. Hopefully, as a committee, we are currently looking at September and therefore we will be making arrangements and passing comment on when the season will start on this basis.
The committee acknowledge that not everyone will be happy with this outcome and we understand any issues you may have with what we has been decided. However, the restrictions around a Sunday League football mean that a number of clubs would simply not have the facilities to complete games and we believe it is unreasonable to force clubs to complete the season.
We believe that the best action is to draw a line under this season and to go again when football resumes. We have been instructed by the Football Association to advise all clubs not to play any matches, including friendlies and training. We understand, as a committee, the frustrations caused by the current situation but just like everyone else, we appreciate that the good health of everyone is the most important consideration right now .
When we have more information to give you we will communicate this with you.
The Committee would like to thank all clubs, volunteers, club staff, players and referees for their efforts in the 2019/20 season that ultimately we were unable to complete due to the unfavourable weather conditions preceding the present Covid- 19 virus situation.
Any thoughts or comments on the committee’s decision are welcome via the General Secretary Gary Wright.
You can contact Gary here, we ask for it this way to enable Gary to pass on your comments to our committee for consideration.
Any posts on the League’s social media will be dismissed and any posts which go against the code of conduct will be deleted with the individual being removed from the Facebook group.
We all acknowledge that this is a far from ideal scenario and conclusion, but all decisions have been taken by committed people who just want what is best for football in allowing our League to operate effectively.
Yours in sport,