COVID 19-APRIL 2021
From ACYFL – UPDATE MARCH 2021
(LEAGUE STATEMENT 26TH FEBRUARY 2021)
At the Member Clubs Meeting held yesterday evening, Dennis Leonard, League Chairman, delivered the following statement, regarding the possible restart of the 2020-2021 Season.
The League Management Committee held an on-line meeting last Monday 22nd February. The only item for discussion was whether, following the PM’s easing of the lockdown and the FA’s decision to allow a possible extension to the season to June, whether we considered it a viable proposition to restart football in this League.
There were number of items we needed to discuss and resolve before we reached our decision.
Firstly, bearing in mind that the official restart date for Grassroots Football, training and matches, is Monday 29th March, and the following weekend is Easter, we could envisage a probable start date at the very earliest of Sunday 11th April. In theory, that would leave 12 weeks to Sunday June 26th and therefore time to complete the season. However, another consideration was the possible restart of the County Cup competitions, in which we still had competing teams, and this could leave some teams with fixture congestion to the detriment of their players.
The biggest problem that came up was the probable availability of pitches or more likely, the non-availability. Arun , Chichester and Worthing Councils do not normally make pitches available after the end of April. Teams using school pitches and in many cases Parish Council and Private grounds, will find they are not available after April and in some cases because of school sports and the cricket season, earlier than that. There is also the question of the availability of referees.
After much discussion, and consideration of various options, the LMC, on a majority vote, decided that we would call an immediate halt to the season, deeming it ‘null and void’, with one proviso concerning the U9-U10 Cup Finals. These had been postponed in November initially, and then again in January, so we felt it right that the teams involved should play the ten Finals outstanding. Dates and venues are to be advised, with account taken of any restrictions on spectators.
To end the season was a difficult decision and we understand that many clubs/teams will be upset at that decision but, taking everything into account, it was felt it was the best thing to do.
Just to hopefully sweeten the pill a little, we have agreed that there will be no League Entry Fee or Annual Fee for existing Member Clubs and teams for next season, which we hope will start on time in September. The only charge will be for Registration Fees, which will remain at £1 per player.
That’s the end of my statement, but I would like Jon Klanczkowski, Assistant Secretary, to add some additional points. (Made as follows)
It’s important to emphasise that we are not stopping children from playing football per se. What we are doing is removing the pressure of the League programme, which dictates that teams must play on a specific date, at a specific time, at a specific venue, against specific opponents, or else face a punishment. Instead, we are giving Clubs, Managers, Players and their parents the freedom to choose whether to carry on playing or not.
If they decide to arrange Friendlies, they can:
1) choose when to play: Saturdays, Sundays or midweek, and as few or as many games as they like
2) choose where to play - bearing in mind that many pitches will be unavailable in May & June. They can also arrange local matches to avoid travelling long distances
3) choose who to play against, so they can have matches against teams of similar strength, or even teams from other Leagues
4) use their own referees (coaches or parents) to reduce costs
5) not worry if their star players are unavailable for a particular match
6) not worry if there's a postponement due to weather or a Covid outbreak in School
7) not worry about being forced to go to grounds where there are doubts about the Covid safeguards in place
8) not have to show ID Cards, allowing non-registered players to be used if a team is suddenly short of a player or two
9) not have to complete any administrative tasks on FA Full-Time
10) U8s, U10s & U12s have the option of arranging Friendlies in the new format that they will be using next season
11) last but not least: with no pressure on gaining results, players can really enjoy playing football again, participating in 'Friendlies', in the true sense of the word.
End of Statement
From ACYFL – UPDATE 24th JANUARY 2021
The League Management Committee held a meeting on Friday 22nd January, 2021, in which the main topic for discussion was the viability of completing the 2020-2021 Season. As you will appreciate, there are a finite number of weeks before the end of the season, so the date on which grassroots football can recommence will determine the nature of the remainder of the season. A Government Review of the National Lockdown Restrictions is scheduled for 15th February, but the LMC would like to share the following with the Member Clubs, to provide some guidance as to what may happen.
1) We do not expect youth grassroots football to recommence in February.
2) The Season will end on 25th April, although the U11-U18 age-groups may play up to 2nd May in order to finalise League placings.
No games will be scheduled by the League for 4th April, Easter Sunday.
Please note: we looked at extending the season last year, but found it impossible because of the lack of pitches - Schools remark their playing-fields for summer sports and Councils turn a lot of grounds over to cricket, so, unfortunately, it's not a viable option.
3) The priority of the League will be to complete the outstanding U12-U18 League fixtures, to determine Divisional placings. To enable this to happen, the following three decisions have been made:
(i) ACYFL Cup Competitions for the U12-U18 age-groups have been cancelled for this season.
(ii) Any teams that have not yet played each other will play double-headers.
(iii) The use of Postponement Options will be withdrawn.
4) If the season can be resumed by mid-March, it should be possible to complete the fixture schedule, although some Divisions may require a small number of midweek games.
5) If the season cannot resume until after Easter, then the season will be declared 'null and void'. In that event, Friendlies will be scheduled by the League in April for those teams wishing to play.
6) U7s-U10s will be given Development Games up until 25th April.
7) The outstanding U9 & U10 Autumn Cup Finals will be played, if at all possible - dates and venues to be confirmed.
8) The U11 Winter Cup competitions will be played providing that there are enough playing Sundays available. If not, there will be Development Games instead.
9) The Divisional team make-up for the 2021-2022 Season will be decided by the Cups & Competitions Committee at their July Meeting.
A couple of other things to note
a) The Transfer Deadline of 28th February will still apply.
b) The Member Clubs Meeting due at the start of February will be rearranged for Thursday 25th February (via Zoom), as we should know by then whether or not football will recommence before Easter. Full details of the Meeting will be issued to Club Secretaries.
c) Any changes to Club's Senior Officers (Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and CWO) and/or their contact details should be notified to Andre Hayde, League Secretary.
These are indeed uncertain times, but we hope the above sheds some light on the possible scenarios. We will keep you updated with any further developments.
If you have any queries or observations, please submit them via your Club Secretary to Andre or myself.
Saywell International (Arun & Chichester) YFL
To all Member Clubs
League Statement 3rd January 2021
At the League Management Committee Meeting held this evening, it was decided to postpone all fixtures at all age-groups until 31st January 2021.
There will therefore be no games on 10th, 17th and 24th January.
The League Management Committee will meet again on Friday 22nd January to review the situation and confirm whether the season can restart on Sunday 31st January. We will be taking into account which Tier West Sussex will be in, whether all schools are back, whether testing is taking place in Secondary Schools, and FA/Government Guidance.
We realise that our decision will disappoint some people, but our over-riding concern is the welfare of adult volunteers, players and their parents/guardians.
The County Cups are administered by Sussex County FA, who should be contacting Clubs direct with an update.
If you have any queries or observations, please send them via your Club Secretary to Andre Hayde, League Secretary.
The League Management Committee
Saywell International (Arun & Chichester) YFL
From the FA
Please see below a link to The FA guidance for grassroots football in Tiers 1-3 after 2 December:
Competitive training and matches are now permitted, with groups limited to a maximum of 30 people, including coaches. These documents summarise some of the key points from the guidance provided by the FA and the Government. All players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents/carers, spectators and football facility providers should read the FA’s full guidelines (see PDF), in addition to the latest Government guidance on COVID-19
More information documents (PDFs) are also available here;