Covid-19 Advice, Updates and FAQs
LATEST CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION – LAST UPDATED 27 APRIL 2020
Coronavirus (Covid-19) - The Current Situation
Firstly, we hope you are managing to keep yourselves, and your loved ones, safe and well and are beginning to adjust to the 'new normal' that we all find ourselves now in.
We are all missing the daily and weekly routines that we are used to that would, for us all, firmly involve playing, watching and enjoying football together with friends and our team.
We understand that it is very important to be kept up to date at this time, and at Northamptonshire FA we only have two staff members working but we are doing our best to share with you the latest news as it becomes available, and to provide you with answers to your questions as we know that having the latest information really does help during times of uncertainty.
We are still yet to understand when the football season will commence and will update you all as soon as we can. This forced pause provides us with time that can be used to be as prepared as possible for the next season, and we have also shared information below on the Whole Game System as this does the administration, reducing the burden on you.
The County Cup Committee will be meeting shortly to make a decision on this. Clubs will be informed as soon as it has been made.
The FA FAQs for Leagues and Clubs
The FA have put together a useful guide for Leagues and Clubs highlighting key areas and their response to this unprecedented situation. To access, please CLICK HERE
The FA Grassroots Tech Team - Online AGMs
The FA have provided guidance on how to use technology, and the process involved, to run a virtual AGM. This means your usual meetings can still take place in an online format. You can find this guidance HERE
It saddens us to see the 2019/20 Season closing prematurely. To make the process as painless as possible, Leagues can join the Grassroots Tech Team for this informative, free webinar that will guide you through the process.
Date: 29th April
Time: 2pm or 7pm
League secretaries need to register here
Looking to the future, this time provides us with an opportunity to be prepared and get ahead by putting everything in place so you are ready for the next season.
We recommend you let 'Whole Game' technology do the heavy lifting so your season runs as administratively smooth as possible.
Getting players registered with their (linked parent) email in Whole Game is a simple step which will make a big difference to you. There are a host of benefits, giving players the opportunity to use The FA Matchday app amongst others.
Click here to find out about the full functionality of the Whole Game System, and how it can help you.
Click here to access a full list of the benefits of the Whole Game System, including a guide to registering club players.
We share in your difficulty coming to terms with the existing season finishing so soon, and the uncertainty brought by the knowledge that there is currently no set date for football to resume.
Despite the unpredictable nature of the current situation, we do anticipate that the affiliation window may open from 1st June 2020.
To be ready and fully prepared for this, we are asking all Clubs and Leagues to take the following quick action:
1. Access your WGS account.
2. Log in using your EMAIL address, rather than the usual FAN login details.
By taking this action you will prevent duplicate records and clean the data that is currently stored. We have seen some issues with some logins where people have multiple records and resolving these prior to the affiliation window opening will prevent any affiliation process delays.
If you have any difficulties, please email email@example.com and we will be happy to help.
We hope that all of our referees are safe and well and managing to use their daily hour of exercise to keep up their fitness levels!
At present there is still no timescale for football at any level of the game to resume, and as soon as this information is communicated from central government we will act accordingly and keep you informed.
It is still planned that referee registration will begin from June 1st although, again, this is subject to change according to the latest situation. There are two issues surrounding safeguarding that may impact on the ability of referees to register with us and we want you to be aware of these:
DBS | If you are aged sixteen and over and officiate in the youth game, you are required to have a DBS dated within the last three years. For those with an existing check, which expires March 1st 2020 to October 2020, this will now be extended by a further twelve months. If your check expired prior to March, or you have just qualified for one, then this will require application immediately upon the resumption of football. At present the DBS system is suspended.
Safeguarding | It is a requirement of The FA that all referees have undertaken Safeguarding Children Training prior to registration for the 20-21 season. We had a number of workshops planned around Northamptonshire which regrettably have had to be cancelled. At this stage we are awaiting clarification from The FA about how this can be managed. Once the information is received, we will circulate this via our website and social media channels.
There are a large number of referees with an existing safeguarding accreditation who can recertify online, and you should continue to use this facility prior to June 1st.
Finally, when football does return, it is possible that there will be a number of tournaments arranged at short notice in lieu of friendlies and pre-season fixtures. This is a reminder that no registered referee can officiate in a tournament that is not sanctioned by a County FA. It is the referee’s individual responsibility to enquire and establish the tournament sanction number. If the organisers cannot supply this, then you must contact Northamptonshire FA to check the validity of the competition. Referees participating in unsanctioned tournaments risk their registration being suspended.
Good luck, stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you out on the pitch when it is safe to do so.
Please look on our website at this link for potential funding opportunities. We do not currently have the specialist staff in to assist but are doing our best to answer existing questions. As soon as football starts and the office is back open we will endeavour to support our clubs. Please leave non urgent queries until then.