2 April 2020
Dear registered football player for the 2020 football season,
Firstly, I hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy as we all work through the impact COVID-19 is having on our health as well as the social and financial issues it is creating.
As you will have seen from Football Federation Australia last night,the temporary suspension of all grassroots football activities has been extended until at least 31 May 2020. This is in line with the Federal Governments recent tightening of measures around social distancing and gatherings and is consistent across all levels of football.
These are truly tough times and the unity we have shown as a football community has been tremendous to this point and will decide how well we come out of the COVID-19 challenge.
From a football perspective, we are still working towards the resumption of an abbreviated 2020 football season with the clear intention of now trying to get as many games played as possible for our 18,000 players. We continue to be strong in our belief that grassroots football and sport in general will play a huge role in dragging us out of this unprecedented disruption to life.
We are working with Northern Beaches Council and Mosman Council to see if the traditional handover of fields from the winter codes to the summer codes can be shifted back to ensure both summer and winter codes share in the disruption that sport is going to suffer because of COVID-19. Both Councils have been tremendously supportive to this point and we have no reason to doubt that wont continue.
As with the vast majority of the community, we are making necessary and drastic changes to prepare ourselves to come out of this unprecedented event with all levels of the game ready to resume stronger than ever. In recent days both Football Federation Australia and Football NSW 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.
This has also come with a significant decrease to the traditional way we pass on the portion of registration fees attributable to Football NSW and the FFA.
Importantly, the FFA and Football NSW continue to work with the Federal and State Governments on rescue packages for grassroots sport.
MWFA has also streamlined our cost base while ensuring we are able to kickstart the competition when the restrictions allow.
We have started modelling football draws and competitions, as well as the financial implications around a season that could resume from early June 2020 to as late as possible that will allow us play a decent number of games.
This latest direction by the Federal Government and FFA to suspend the competition and restrict the ability to play football matches has further eaten into our traditional season and we are addressing what this means forregistration fees.
We are all aware that there have been costs incurred at every level of the game to prepare for the season before a ball is kicked. FFA, Football NSW and MWFA have all made cuts and are minimising any future costs while being ready to recommence football whenever that time comes. With each week missed, there is also a drop in the cost of running competitions (referee fees, lighting, field hire etc) and this will also be reflected in the outcome, as will any possible benefits from Government funding packages.
If the disruption continues beyond 31 May, of course we will need to place a sharper focus on the exact extent of discounts on the 2021 football season or refunds that will be offered, but until we know the full extent of the impact it is very difficult to have definite answers. It is also unfair to the broader football community to start offering refunds now as the true impact is unknown and refunds now will impact on the players who stay and play in the 2020 season when it starts.
So, we are asking for all clubs, players, parents, referees and volunteers to be patient and consider the broader interests of the game we all love.
We all hope to be playing sport as soon as possible.
Stay safe and stick together.