Bad news for tier 3 downwards – 2020-21 season cancelled, better news for 1 & 2

Bad news for grassroots football – the 2020-21 season has been cancelled for men’s football tiers 3 to 5 and women’s tier 2.

Several other leagues and cups have also been scrapped, but there is better news for the higher leagues.

The JD Cymru Premier will return to Elite status with a proposed playing calendar of March 5 to May 31.

The JD Cymru North and South also regains Elite status with their seasons planned to run from March 20 to May 29.

So a return to football for those leagues is still more than a month away.

As for the Welsh Cup, that competition will be played, but for teams in Tier 1 and 2 only.

Here is today’s press release from the Football Association of Wales.……

The National League Board (the NLB), the National Cup Board (the NCB) and the Community Game Board (the CGB) have provided an update on the status of competitions and relevant fees due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The decisions by the relevant Boards have taken into account the current Welsh Government guidelines and measures in relation to COVID-19 with the health and safety of everyone involved being of the utmost importance.

THE NATIONAL LEAGUE BOARD

The NLB has determined that an attempt will be made to complete the following leagues and competitions when the country either returns to Alert Level 3 in accordance with the Welsh Government Covid-19 Control Plan or when the ‘Elite Status’ as defined by Sport Wales is redesignated to that competition, whichever is the sooner:

JD Cymru Premier
To continue under Elite Status.
Proposed playing calendar: 5 March to 31 May.

Orchard Welsh Premier Women’s League
To continue under Elite Status.
Proposed playing calendar: 5 March to 23 May.

JD Cymru North
To continue under Elite Status.
Proposed playing calendar: 20 March to 29 May.

JD Cymru South
To continue under Elite Status.
Proposed playing calendar: 20 March to 29 May.

Academy Leagues
To resume at Alert Level 3 if Welsh Government Regulations permits.

Futsal League
If Welsh Government regulations allow, attempts will be made to play the competition until UEFA window for champion nomination closes.

Nathaniel MG Cup
To continue if proposed playing calendar allows.
Proposed playing calendar: March to 31 May.

Welsh Premier Women’s League Cup
To continue under elite status.
Proposed playing calendar: 23 March to 23 May.

The NLB has decided that the following league competitions should be cancelled for the 2020/21 season:

Ardal Leagues (tier 3)
Cymru Premier Development League
FAW Reserve League
FAW Youth League

THE NATIONAL CUP BOARD

The NCB has determined that an attempt will be made to complete the following cup competitions when the country either returns to Alert Level 3 in accordance with the Welsh Government Covid-19 Control Plan or when the ‘Elite Status’ as defined by Sport Wales is redesignated to that competition, whichever is the sooner:

JD Welsh Cup
To be played among the 44 teams at Tiers 1 & 2 only.
Proposed playing calendar: 20 April to 5 June.

The NCB desire was for all teams who entered to participate but it’s not possible under the current Welsh Government guidelines. Therefore, allowing those that can compete was their preferred option.

FAW Women’s Cup
Decision deferred to March meeting of the NCB, as Board believe that competition is still possible, for the 9 teams at Tier 1 only.

The NCB desire was for all teams who entered to participate but it’s not possible under the current Welsh Government guidelines. Therefore, allowing those that can compete was their preferred option.

FAW Girls’ Cup
Decision deferred to March meeting of the NCB, as Board believe that competition is still possible.

Futsal Cup
Decision deferred to March meeting of the NCB, as Board believe that competition is still possible.

The NCB has decided that the following cup competitions should be cancelled for the 2020/21 season:

FAW Amateur Trophy
FAW Youth Cup

THE COMMUNITY GAME BOARD

The CGB has determined, given the increased numbers of U18s that can participate in outdoor activity, that an attempt will be made to complete junior competitions for the 2020/21 season when the country returns to Alert Level 3 in accordance with the Welsh Government Covid-19 Control Plan:

All Junior Leagues
To resume at Alert Level 3 if Welsh Government Regulations permit.

The CGB has decided that the following competitions should be cancelled for the 2020/21 season:

All leagues and Cups at Men’s Tier 4 and below
All leagues and Cups at Women’s Tier 2 and below
All Area Association Cups
All Area Association Youth Leagues and Cups

The FAW said: “The FAW fully understands the frustrations felt by many throughout the country of not being able to play, volunteer and support their clubs. However, these are unprecedented times and the FAW is not responsible for the national COVID-19 policies and guidelines, which are in place to keep the nation as safe as possible.

“The FAW is exploring a number of options for the 2021/22 season to ensure that competitive football can resume as quickly as possible.

“Finally, the FAW has decided that should the Welsh Government Alert Levels change before the end of the season, 31 May – as detailed in the FAW Rules, clubs would be permitted to request the sanction of friendly matches. Further details on this will be distributed to Area Associations, Leagues and Clubs by the FAW Competitions Department.

2021/22 SEASON FEES

Due to COVID-19 and Welsh Government regulations, the 2020/21 football season has been severely affected.
The FAW acknowledges that players, clubs, leagues, and referees have paid various fees in respect of the 2020/21 season and the FAW has been considering the most effective way of addressing these matters.
Please note the following headline decisions:

• Teams that entered competitions in the 2020/21 season, that have either not started, or have started but will not be completed, will now be automatically entered into the equivalent competitions for the 2021/22 season free of charge.

• Clubs and leagues that affiliated with either the FAW or an Area Association in the 2020/21 season will not need to pay a fee to affiliate in respect of the 2021/22 season.

• Player registration fees for the 2021/22 season will be discounted and further details will be communicated in due course.

• Referee registration fees for the 2021/22 season will be discounted and further details will be communicated in due course.

For further information in respect of each of the above points, please refer to the relevant section detailed below.

  1. Competition entry fees:

• League competitions:

o In respect of teams that paid to enter a league competition in the 2020/21 season and the competition they entered, either has not started, or has started but will not be completed:

 The competition entry fee paid in respect of the 2020/21 season, will be automatically carried forward to the equivalent league competition for the 2021/22 season. This means that the team will be automatically entered into next year’s competition and they will not need to pay an entry fee.

 If a team no longer wants to enter the equivalent league competition in the 2021/22 season, they will be able to request a full refund of their 2020/21 season league competition entry fee by contacting their competition organiser.

o Teams that did not enter a league competition in the 2020/21 season but now intend to enter the equivalent league competition in the 2021/22 season, will need to enter the competition on COMET and pay the relevant entry fee. Further information in relation to this matter will be communicated in due course.

Cup competitions:

o In respect of teams that paid to enter a cup competition in the 2020/21 season, and the competition they entered, either has not started, or has started but will not be completed:

 The competition entry fee paid in respect of the 2020/21 season, will be automatically carried forward to the equivalent cup competition for the 2021/22 season. This means that the team will be automatically entered into next year’s competition and they will not need to pay an entry fee.

 If a team no longer wants to enter the equivalent cup competition in the 2021/22 season, they will be able to request a full refund of their 2020/21 season cup competition entry fee by contacting their competition organiser.

o Teams that did not enter a cup competition in the 2020/21 season, but now intend to enter the equivalent cup competition in the 2021/22 season, will need to enter the competition on COMET and pay the relevant entry fee. Further information in relation to this matter will be communicated in due course.

  1. Affiliation fees

• Prior to the start of every season, all clubs and leagues must affiliate with either the FAW or with their Area Association.

• Due to the impact of COVID-19, it has been decided that all clubs and leagues that affiliated for the 2020/21 season, will not be required to pay a fee to affiliate for the 2021/22 season.

• Any club (or league) that did not affiliate for the 2020/21 season, will need to pay the relevant affiliation fee for the 2021/22 season and further details in relation to this will be communicated in due course.

  1. Player registration fees

• The player registration fees for the 2020/21 season were priced as follows: £10 adults / £5 juniors & minis.

• In respect of the 2020/21 season, the player registration fees paid by Clubs to the FAW have been used to pay the following:

o For every registered player, the relevant league receives a £2 payment. The total amount to be paid to leagues in respect of the 2020/21 season will be approximately £150,000.

o All registered players are automatically covered by the FAW’s Personal Accident Insurance Scheme. The FAW also provides free insurance to all registered coaches and club officials. The total market value of the insurance cover provided by the FAW is approximately £400,000 per season.

It is important to highlight that the Personal Accident Insurance scheme provides cover for all members during training and matches (including friendlies).

Over the past 18 months, this insurance policy has paid out nearly £50,000 in respect of claims made by players and the premium is driven by claims and not the amount of football played. The FAW is currently liaising with its insurers to finalise the premium for the 2021/22 season which will then allow us to confirm the discounted player registration fees for the 2021/22 season.

o Prior to the start of each season, all junior clubs in Wales must be accredited. For the 2020/21 season, the FAW introduced a new incentive programme to reward clubs that submitted their club accreditation applications before 31st August 2020. The total value of incentives paid to junior clubs in respect of the 2020/21 season is £25,000.

o All registered players are automatically entered into a monthly prize draw where they can either win a prize for themselves (10 x monthly prizes of £100 JD Sports vouchers) or for their clubs (4 x monthly prizes of £500 training kit/equipment vouchers). For the 2020/21 season, there will be 168 prize draw winners and the total prize money paid out will be £36,000.

• In order to determine the discount player registration fees for the 2021/22 season, the FAW will now liaise with its insurers (in order to finalise the insurance premium) and all leagues (in respect of the £2 per player registration rebate) and a decision will be made as quickly as possible.

  1. Referee registration fees

• The referee registration fees for the 2020/21 season were £20 (early bird price) or £30 (full price.)

• Due to COVID-19, many referees have not been able to officiate in any matches during the 2020/21 season.

• To reflect this, the 2021/22 referee registration fees will be discounted, with the exception of those officiating in competitions that will continue. Further information on the reduced rates will be communicated in due course.

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