To All SGFA Clubs & Members

On behalf of the St George Football Association (‘SGFA’) Board, the following is a summary of the latest developments impacting our football season.

In accordance with the latest directive from Football Federation Australia’s (‘FFA’) (Circular 20-09), the temporary suspension of all SGFA grassroots football activities competitions, has now been extended until 31 May 2020.

The suspension continues to apply to all sanctioned matches and competitions, including National Premier Leagues, FFA Cup, youth and grassroots football (including MiniRoos and futsal), in addition to training and associated football related activities.

SGFA is in constant communication and continues to work with Football NSW as our governing body.  Football NSW, who is in turn constantly liaising with FFA and relevant Government agencies and remain committed to keeping us all informed and up to date in these rapidly changing times.

As a result of the advice from FFA last night, SGFA notes the following:

  • the 2020 season has been further Delayed, but has not been Cancelled;
  • it is the intention of SGFA to run a competition in 2020; and
  • SGFAs objective is to ensure we maximise the playing time/opportunities for all participants, to the extent possible.

In order for us to ensure the successful delivery of the above, there are a number of factors that are outside of our control and any decisions that are made by the Association will be made with the health and safety of our members first and foremost and following the advice we receive from the government and relevant authorities.

To this end, SGFA advises the following update in relation to the competition structure for 2020 season:

Revised Competition Structure – June 2020

  • training will re-commence from 1 June 2020 (at the earliest);
  • the competition season will commence on the weekend 12-14 June 2020;
  • SGFA are currently in discussions with both Councils to seek approval to extend our winter permits to the end of September;
  • we have developed 2 competition scenario options being an August completion and a September completion, per below:

End of August 

  • 10 team competitions will play 1 full round (9 games), plus finals ending 28/29 August.
  • 8 Team competitions will play 1 full round, plus 2 additional rounds (9 games), plus finals ending 28/29 August.
  • 6 team competition will play 2 full rounds (10 games), plus finals ending 5/6 September.
  • Non-competition will play 12 rounds ending 29 August.

 End of September* 

  • 10 team competitions will play 1 full round, plus 4 additional rounds (13 games), plus finals ending 25/26/27 September
  • 8 Team competitions will play 1 full round, plus 6 additional rounds (13 games), plus finals ending 26/27 September
  • 6 team competition will play 2 full rounds, plus 3 additional rounds (13 games), plus finals ending 26/27 September
  • Non-competition will play 14 rounds ending 13th September.

*May impact the Football NSW Champion of Champions competitions, if this happens.

Upon receiving confirmation of a decision on permit extensions from both Councils, a decision on the option to be used will be communicated with members.

Fees & Registrations

Given the unprecedented changes in the financial, health and social landscape we are all experiencing, the wellbeing and health of our members, their families and the wider community is our priority.

Our community clubs are essential to that wellbeing and will play a leading role in the reestablishment of community bonds and values that have been impacted by social distancing and other measures to stay ahead of the curve whilst mitigating the spread of this virus.

These are some of the most testing times we have ever faced as a sport and we are particularly concerned for our football community. More than ever during these uncertain times, unity and cooperation in addition to you continuing to support your club and the football community more broadly, is absolutely paramount.  In demonstrating your support, we call on you all to remain positive, patient, and importantly we ask you to maintain your registration with your respective club.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the tremendous work that is being undertaken by our SGFA club volunteers and Board. Like us, they are football players, coaches and family members and have dedicated significant time over the past 6 months in preparing for the season and are now managing an unprecedented crisis. In your communication with your club volunteers, please be patient and appreciative for their work.

Whilst a ball is yet to be kicked in formal competitions all organisations (Clubs, SGFA, FNSW and FFA) have incurred expenditure already this year in preparation for the 2020 season. These costs have to be considered and recouped and as a collective we need to make sure that when football and life in Australia (and the world) returns to normal that we have a sport, clubs, and an infrastructure that will allow us all to continue to play football. This is crucial to ensure the sustainability of the competitions football is aiming to still deliver in 2020 if/when play can resume.

In recent days both FFA and FNSW have made some very tough decisions around cost-cutting and staff measures to ensure they can get through the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.   SGFA are also in the process of reviewing our cost base and contingencies whilst ensuring that we are able to kickstart the competition when the restrictions allow.

Naturally, if the disruption continues beyond 31 May, FFA, Football NSW, SGFA and Clubs will need to further consider the options and what may be offered in terms of potential refunds or discounts / credits for the 2021 football season. However, until we understand the full extent of the impact it is very difficult to have definite answers and it would be unfair to start offering refunds as the true impact is unknown. Any refunds now will impact on the players who stay and play in the 2020 season, when and if it starts.

In order to help the grassroots football community, stay active and connected throughout this time, FFA recently launched an online Skills Hub, developed in association with each of Australia’s Member Federations. To access the Skills Hub and get involved with the #PlayAtHomeChallenge, please visit www.playfootball.com.au/skills-hub.

Finally, I would also like to call on our community to support our community. For many years local businesses have supported our local clubs. This may be the local grocer, butcher, tradesman or the like. During this difficult time, if possible, please support our local businesses to ensure that when normality returns our community returns stronger.

On behalf of the Board and staff, we sincerely thank you for your continued patience, cooperation and understanding.

We can’t wait to get back to playing football.

 

Craig Kiely

CEO