Covid 19 – Impact on Football in the Shire (Update 2 April 2020)

The SSFA provide the below updates for your information and to share as appropriate:
• FFA/ FNSW have today announced that the best case commencement date for football to be played will now be delayed until at least 31 May 2020.
• This would mean that round 1 of the SSFA season would kick off on Saturday 6 June. In this scenario, we play 14 rounds of football (with wash outs reducing this number) with no finals series. That is, first past the post would be considered the Premiers. It is noted that the date is aspirational.
• The Program and the Competition Dates have been updated to reflect this change (both of these documents can be found at )
• In short the season has been Delayed and has not been Cancelled.
• It is the SSFA’s hope to run a competition in 2020; if we can run a competition in 2020, we will. Our ability to do so is dependent on factors outside of our control. Any decisions that are made by the Association will be made with the health and safety of our members first and foremost following the advice we receive from relevant authorities.
• It has been determined that a minimum of 9 rounds will need to be played to constitute a competition in 2020. The start date for a competition with 9 rounds and no finals would need to commence in early July. The SSFA will attempt to run competitions longer than 9 rounds either with or without finals (as is presently suggested with a start date of 30 May). This is to allow all players to get as many games as possible.

Should a season not be possible in 2020 the SSFA is considering, and likely to transfer the 2020 season into 2021 with any team/grade/age changes that may be necessary. In this scenario, it is SSFA’s intention that fees received by the Association for 2020 will be transferred into 2021. Our ability to deliver other components of registration monies will be dependent on the stance taken by FFA and FNSW in relation to insurance and their levies. It is hoped that the component of registration monies paid to the Club will in turn be transferred to season 2021.
This approach may not be ideal for many of our participants, however we have had to balance the position of all our stakeholders. The prospect of repaying over 18,000 players their 2020 registration fees would place untold pressure on our Club volunteers.
A large component of the fees paid are for insurance. SSFA is in contact with FNSW to determine what premiums will be payable for 2020 given the season may not happen.
SSFA, and the Clubs, have already undertaken much of the administrative burden in preparation for the 2020 season. It is not our intention to charge our members again for this work that will be needed to be done in preparation for the 2021 season.

Everybody is under financial stress at the moment – FFA, FNSW, SSFA, the clubs, the SSFA staff that will soon be stood down (and have already taken an interim pay cut), and our registered players. Returning the $17.50 to $34.50 per player that has been paid to the SSFA to-date may not be extremely beneficial to our participants in the long run.

The impact of this is significant. With no Football, SSFA and many others will incur a substantial loss for this year. We are conscious of the impact on our clubs and our parent bodies and seek your understanding to help us get through this difficult stage. While there are more important things to consider than Football, it is important for us all to work together going forward.

Matt Brady
Sutherland Shire Football Association

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