The FA has, today, issued guidelines on the return of grassroots football. As you can see from the graphic, 29th March is the key date, with other stages following in due course. What we don’t need are issues arising from not following the directives and players/supporters being in trouble with the authorities. It must be said that our only chance of being able to extend or return to an acceptable form of the game will be to observe those stageposts. No spectators earlier than the 12th April. Changing facilities from the same date are key indicators. Beers/hospitality no earlier than the 17th May. A rather optimistic return to a “no limits” environment from the 21st June.

Relaxation of Fees for 2021-22

In line with our objective of removing as much financial burden for the next new season 2021-22, we have taken the decision to offer free registrations to ALL clubs that wish to be part of the ESFC family.

Of course, this is a major loss to our finances but we are still prepared to use our current resources to divert into the collective pot and assist the clubs when they most need it.

This offer is extended to clubs new to the Combination also as we appreciate all will be in the same boat. We hope that meets with your approval. At this current time we are not aware of any similar arrangement with County fees although I am aware that the FA have offered £10 towards affiliation fees to every club. I am not sure of the actual detail or whether Essex County FA will extend to further discounts.

Please make sure you are on top of any arrangements regarding your pitch credit notes or refunds for this current season if you have chosen a deferment of pitch fees.

Click here to register an interest in joining the Essex Sunday Football Combination for 2021-22. It does not hurt to get in touch so look forward to hearing from you.

Player Registrations

A further reminder that you need to have all new players approved by the League by midnight Wednesday 31st March. Only those players officially recognised by the ESFC will be eligible to play for the remainder of this seasons concluding fixtures. If eligibility is to be challenged then please do so politely and formally prior to the game, note the issues, and then send in to us to sort out with County after the event. Of course, this could go two ways, so be prepared for the consequences of the investigation. Purely & simply, it is your responsibility to make sure each player who appears on the pitch at ANY time during the game should be be fully approved. Please do this as early as possible before the game so that any discrepancies can be resolved.

Post Match Data

Please make sure you submit your match data ASAP following the completion of the game. In order for us to achieve our aim of getting the info out there to the public domain (YouTube, FA FullTime & Podcasts), having your scorers form part of the broadcast and up-to-date charts will be immediately available to review. I have deadlines to achieve to get this material prepared against similarly tight deadlines. Our media team all have challenging work roles & shifts so while most of the nation sleeps, we work!!

Online Meetings

Following the first ever online ESFC Council Meeting held just recently, we really enjoyed being able to communicate league business during lockdown. Obviously we believe this form of meeting to be the way forward in times to come. What we’d like to know is if you’d prefer this method and if you’d be more likely to attend if we continued to use this format.