Club Activities are Suspended

On advice from The FA, Local League and British Government concerning COVID-19

Here we go again….

Well, I still remember the first statement we put out about this, pre my chairmanship. Who would have thought that with this year coming to a close we are now about to close again and ride this out with you all.

Today it was made official to us from the league, NFA and FA that football activities outside of the elite national league system will be suspended, which includes any form of organised training. I think we all knew this was going to be the case but with the schools staying open there was a slim chance we may be asked to operate; all be it with more controls or behind closed doors. This is not the case.

Why is this happening? Why are schools allowed and not us? This is not fair? Are questions I am sure you are asking yourself and whilst we may have our own opinions on this, we are in a pandemic, a pandemic which is currently out of control and has the potential to kill love ones around you within a few weeks if not sooner. I make that statement because I feel it is sometimes forgotten and this virus is currently affecting many people in all different ways, not just directly. If you consider schools, they are bubbles, its generally the same kids mixing all the time whereas football (more so mini soccer) promotes people mixing from all different area’s week in week out.

It is times like this whereby we all need to continue to do our bit, take the rough with the smooth and support each other. Nobody currently knows where the end-line is and although we have been told that restrictions will be until early December, I do not wish to portray false hopes. The way football works is there will be lots of general admin and league work needed to get things started, more so with the lower age groups. That said, when restrictions are lifted it will not be alien to then expect some delay until games are in force, let’s hope its all sorted promptly and with some foresight.

As a club, we will continue to operate in the background. We are already very busy with the new clubhouse project and we can then use this time to focus on that further. We can look to pre-empt a re-open and get things in place so that we can get the football flowing without further disruption when the time comes. Rest assured, Higham will be ready!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for how well you have helped maintain a secure environment up at Higham. I am sure there are many areas of improvement we can make, and we can use this time to evaluate that. But we have been noticed externally and praised for the great work and communication throughout COVID, so well done to all.

So enough of my waffling, what does this mean for you all? Well in short, from midnight Wednesday the 4th November no football at Higham or connected with Higham. No games will be played, no training will be allowed either at our ground or any venue. If this does occur and reported, it will be met with serious sanctions from the FA not just to the coach but also the club. So we must adhere to the rules.

We were very grateful for how everybody supported us throughout lockdown, and we do not pressure anybody to continue to pay their subs whilst we are in lockdown. We do however ask that if you owe for October please ensure this reaches us. If you wish to continue to contribute, then please do as this will only help us maintain operations whilst we do not anticipate any further COVID government support at this time.

We will be looking to produce some supportive materials to coaches which will keep the kids busy during the lockdown and allow them to hone their skills further. I know they have all come on so much since we opened and we should not see this as a loss, I am sure once we are back in December we can keep this momentum going.

We will hopefully see you all in December, please keep an eye on our social media for any updates, keep safe, well and try to make the best of this situation. Please continue to follow government guidelines and keep yourself in a positive frame of mind where possible. We wish you all well, stay safe.

James Sharp
Club Chairman