London FA

Coronavirus Update - 26 March 2020

London FA provides guidance and advice to our member clubs and leagues.

LAST UPDATED: 26 MARCH 2020, 18:00

THE FA HAS NOW ANNOUNCED THAT ALL GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL IS CONCLUDED FOR THE 2019/20 SEASON.
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.   

THE FULL FA STATEMENT   

The Football Association [The FA] has been working collaboratively with the National League System [NLS], the Women’s Football Pyramid and the wider grassroots game since the outbreak of COVID-19 on how to conclude the 2019/20 season in the most appropriate way possible.

These are challenging circumstances for English football and all decisions taken are in the best interests of the game and in consultation across key stakeholders. Our primary concern will always be for the safety and welfare of clubs, players, staff, officials, volunteers and supporters during this unprecedented time.

Today’s steps take into account the financial impact during this uncertain period, whilst considering the fairest method on how the sporting outcomes for the season will be decided, with the integrity of the Leagues in mind.

The NLS and the Women’s Football Pyramid were able to build a consensus amongst their leagues and, where possible, aimed to create a consistent approach across all leagues, whilst taking into account the unique characteristics of each individual league.

As a result, The FA and NLS Steps 3 to 6 have reached a consensus that their 2019/20 season will now be brought to an end, and all results will be expunged. This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between NLS Steps 3 to 6, and no promotion to NLS Step 2.  

These decisions will also apply to the Leagues and clubs who play at NLS Step 7.

The FA will continue to assist and support the National League [NLS Steps 1 and 2] to determine the outcome of its 2019/20 season as quickly as possible.

The planned implementation of the restructure of the NLS will also now be deferred until the start of the 2021/22 season. 

Furthermore, we can now confirm that The FA has decided that all grassroots football is concluded for the 2019/20 season. This will allow the game to move forward and to commence planning for next season. Our County Football Associations [CFAs] will be supporting grassroots leagues over the coming days to determine how they should close out their current competitions.

Where appropriate, the above decisions will be put to The FA Council for ratification.

Throughout this period The FA continues to seek guidance in respect of the Government’s financial support packages relative to COVID-19 and how they are applicable to clubs in the NLS, the Women’s Football Pyramid and the wider grassroots game.

Women’s football

In the women’s game, The FA, FA Women’s Board members and the Women’s Football Conference have consulted and reached a consensus regarding the Women’s Football Pyramid.

The FA and the Leagues within Tiers 3 to 7 have reached a consensus to bring the season to an immediate end and all results will be expunged. This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between Tiers 3 to 7. Agreement has also been reached to end the Regional Talent Clubs season, which was due to conclude in April 2020.

We remain in consultation with the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship Board and clubs regarding the most appropriate way to complete the current season; including the Barclays FA Women’s Super League Academy.

FA competitions

With the Emirates FA Cup, Women’s FA Cup, Buildbase FA Trophy and Buildbase FA Vase 2019/20 all at advanced stages, The FA is reviewing all options as we seek to complete these competitions whenever it is safe and appropriate to do so. Clubs involved are close to reaching a major Final and for those clubs and supporters we will do all we can to keep the Wembley dream alive.

In respect of The FA Youth Cup, The FA County Youth Cup, The FA Sunday Cup and The FA Inter-League Cup, we are also seeking to complete these competitions if it is feasible to do so.

The FA will also continue planning for FA Competitions to take place for the 2020/21 season.


END OF FA STATEMENT

London FA’s policy is to follow Government, Public Health England, NHS and Football Association advice directly, with the priority being the health and wellbeing of all. We will continue to work closely with the grassroots game during this time.

The links to the latest updates and advice to the British public is copied at the links below:

NHS GUIDANCE

PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND GUIDANCE 


CONTACTING LONDON FA

All London FA staff are now working from home rather than based in the office. We are therefore asking all our members to direct any queries to our website or to contact us via our generic emails. 

For specific queries related to the FA decision regarding the conclusion of the 2019-20 football season, please email London FA directly at development@londonfa.com

Our website contains many useful guides and Frequently Asked Question sections. For example see the following for any discipline or coach education queries:

http://www.londonfa.com/about/rules-and-regulations/discipline 

http://www.londonfa.com/coaches 

For any queries that cannot be answered via our website, please email the relevant shared inbox and a member of the London FA team will come back to you. Our shared inboxes are as follows:

safeguarding@londonfa.com
discipline@londonfa.com 
coaching@londonfa.com
refereeing@londonfa.com 
countycups@londonfa.com 
development@londonfa.com 
playerregistration@thefa.com 

At London FA we have invested in a new email management system called Freshdesk, and this is now live across our discipline, coaching, refereeing and county cup platforms. This system allows us to set specific response deadlines for email queries and track progress in resolving queries. 

Please do provide feedback on how this system is working, via the short email survey sent automatically to you once a query is resolved.

For any urgent queries we are still operating a skeleton customer service line, on our usual switchboard number. Please note that call waiting times may be extended at this point in time.

MORE QUESTIONS?

We recognise that the above will not necessarily provide you with the answers to the many questions you may have. 

To support you with this we have developed a specific Covid-19 FAQ page, which covers a wide range of topics, from our coach education programme to our plans around the London County Cups.

Please visit this FAQ page here