Chairman Statement – Further Restrictions

10th September 2020

Firstly, before i address the up and coming changes in the law i would like to thank each one of you for the continued support during these difficult times.   It is our utmost priority to ensure the safety of all those involved at the club or who may be visiting, it has been fantastic to see everybody trying their best to keep within the rule and help reduce the spread of infection so we may enjoy football at Lancaster Park.

With the new law coming into force from Monday we have evaluated our current controls and identified some changes we will be putting into force from this weekend.   At Higham, we want to ensure a pro-active approach and where you may feel the controls are “over the top”, we are doing our best to ensure we can continue football for all.   These are unprecedented times, and this means we need to react with the best possible approach as changes occur.

With the new law coming into force Monday regarding gatherings of more than 6 people, we have re-structured how we will help ensure this at the club.   The law does not include “organised sports” of which grassroots football is included, however, this refers to those involved in the sporting activity at the time.   Policing those around the ground such as spectators will require resources and eyes at all time to ensure its adhered to, not an easy task.   Therefore, we have taken the decision to change the way in which activities such as training and games are spectated.

We kindly ask that as of this Saturday (12th) that spectators do so from their cars.  There will be no spectating permitted at the ground outside of the car.   You are more than welcome to use our facilities (toilets/café) as long as you return to your car.   We are going to start staggering the friendlies so that only one type of pitch is in use at any one time, such as 11v11 / 9v9 etc.   We currently have fixtures this weekend and will honour those rather than make changes with limited notice.

Those who will be exempt from this rule will be a parent who has been allocated to run the line during a friendly (where required) or where special consideration has been given by the club for a valid reason (such as special needs of a child).

We fully appreciate that you may wish to watch your son or daughter playing from the side-lines but for us to ensure we maintain this new law come Monday, we feel this is the best possible process for the time being.   Like with all controls, we will continue to evaluate and hopefully lift in time.    We ask you to work with us on this for now and respect the fact we are doing this for everybody’s safety, especially with the rise in local cases and risk of local lockdowns in Northamptonshire.

Breaking this rule will mean you may be asked to leave the site or in extreme cases, the session/game will be abandoned.   We hope it does not come to that and we have found so far that everybody has been very compliant with changes.  I am sure over the next few weeks restrictions will ease, but only if we can start to adhere to this new law.   Asking people to not group up is fine, but we know this will not happen for all and then we start to have problems, it’s easier right now for us to remove that factor entirely.

Once again, thank you for all the hard work so far since the removal of lockdown.   We know how important the sport is to everybody and want to ensure it continues.   We ask that you help us by adhering to club and government the rules and do not bring other members of the family to the site unless required which will help limit numbers.

Kindest regards and please keep safe

James Sharp
Club Chairman