Club Activities Tier 4 Changes

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

As you will no doubt be aware, Northamptonshire entered Tier 4 and with that brings about changes both externally and internally as a club.  So that we are prepared and our coaches are correctly informed, we have been working closely with the FA, NFA and Leagues over the past few days and held an emergency meeting with our coaches and volunteers over zoom yesterday.

We feel its important everybody understands the key facts and changes and hence we have published this guidance.  Please note, we do not need this to become political, we do not make the rules or vow to understand why one thing will be ok and not another.   What we have decided with our coaches is that the club will continue to operate and allow each team to make a choice with all the support they will need.   As a club, we are reviewing all our controls, providing further measures and re-educating accordingly.   We shall continue to review everything weekly so we can become more agile during this Tier 4 status.

The key talking points with our coaches;

Tier 4 Organised Sports: You are allowed to leave your home to exercise outdoors in a public place – alone, with 1 other person, or within your household or bubble. You can only participate in organised outdoor sport if it is within these legal gathering limits. This does not apply to organised outdoor sport for people with disabilities, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s (including those who were under 18 on 31 August 2020), which can continue with any number of participants.

In summary; adult football has been suspended in all forms.  U18 and below may continue both as games and training.  Due to central venues being very busy, the league has postponed all mini-soccer (U7 – U10).  Training for mini soccer is still allowed.

Tier 4 Travel: The government’s guidelines on travel between tiers should be adhered to. Players, Coaches and Parents/Guardian cannot move in or out of Tier 4 to train, play or spectate.

In summary; If you are not resident within Northamptonshire, then you are not allowed to train, play, spectate or coach.  This is to keep things in line with overall government restrictions and can be met with very heavy fines.  Additional: If you travel outside the county (for example working when can’t work from home) and it’s within the accepted rules for travel, this does not prevent you from participation as travel should only be done for specific reasons by law.

Split Families: If you are from a split family and it is usual for the child to have residency within Northamptonshire, they are allowed to participate as long as they are in the county at the time and stayed overnight.  They can’t just travel in for sport, it must be for care reasons and seen as normal behaviour (to prevent abuse of the rule).

Tier 4 Spectators: Spectators are not allowed unless they are adults where they are needed to supervise under-18s in a safeguarding role. Parents or other adults who are not required to fulfil a supervisory role are considered to be spectators, and must not attend. Where spectators are necessary, you should not mix with others from outside their household or support bubble.

In summary; Only one parent is allowed to spectate (which does not include the coach as he may be needed for emergency reason) for a supervisory role and must adhere to social distancing rules at all time.  If you have siblings within your care and no other support, they are allowed to attend due to welfare as long as they stay with you at all times and do not mix.

Club Support for teams and coaches

  • If teams wish to suspend activities they may, we will support this action with parents.  It will need to be for an extended time.
  • If coaches are unable to travel, we will provide support to run the team on match days and training (where possible).
  • If coaches feel unsafe and wish to down tools but the team wishes to continue, we will provide support accordingly (where possible).
  • If teams need extra equipment regarding COVID control, the club with fund and supply.

We are currently reviewing all our controls and will share any amendments soon. We have suspended friendlies at our ground this weekend so we can take the time to evaluate.  The key for us is allowing those who wish to, the access to football.   This is will only be done if controls are met and we will need the help of everybody to ensure that.

The Cafe will now be closed until further notice because we want to limit the reason for people to be at the ground, out the cars and/or grouping around the containers where walk-ways are.