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Updates from Berks & Bucks FA regarding the coronavirus

Today (09.07.20) The FA released the following statement in response to the Government's announcement and publication of the 'Return to Recreational Sport Framework' earlier this evening.
Read the statement in full, here

What is the latest advice?

The FA is actively monitoring and adopting Government advice and, as a matter of good practice, would recommend that Leagues & Clubs and individuals adopt the same approach. You can stay up-to-date with the latest advice from Public Health England and the NHS via their websites:
Public Health England

Additional information

Further information about the virus can also be found via the UK Government website:
UK Government 

*Please note, this article was last updated on Thursday 9th July 2020 at 20:00. Please refer to the links above for the most recent government advice at the time of viewing.*



The FA have today issued new guidance documents for adult players, coaches, facility operators, parents and carers involved in restarting grassroots football activity during Covid-19.
Read the statement in full, and download the guidance, here



The FA have today issued further guidance to all grassroots football and informal football activity outside the professional game following the Government’s relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions from 1 June 2020.
Read the statement in full, and download the guidance, here



An update from our CEO 

As COVID-19 continues to present challenges to every part of our daily lives, I hope you and your families are keeping well.

Since my last update, we have focussed our resources around supporting clubs and leagues to end the 2019/20 season and to prepare football, and the business, for the 2020/21 season.

With the enormous impact that this virus has had on grassroots football I am pleased to announce today that for the 2020/21 season club affiliation to the Berks & Bucks FA will be free.

As well as free affiliation, clubs will also receive; free public Liability insurance via Bluefin, and free team registration. There will still be an expectation that personal accident insurance will be purchased by the club.

I can also confirm today that we have taken the decision to postpone the window for affiliation to the 1st August 2020.

Previously obtaining affiliation has signalled the commencement of the new season and we are not prepared to risk the safety of football participants by opening the window earlier. What is clear now, is that no group face-to-face activities are permissible.

Should we get clearance to commence the season earlier, we will, of course, be ready and able to open the portal on the FA Whole Game System.

We must also be prepared that the season start may be affected by COVID-19 and, as such, the Board of Directors have confirmed that in the event of the Berks & Bucks FA County Cup Competition programme not commencing by 1st November, then the competitions will not start.

While we are saddened at the thought of potentially not running our County Cup programme next year, we are mindful that leagues and clubs could be under additional pressure to fulfil a fixture programme in a more condensed period.  We, of course, remain hopeful that football will restart as normal.

What we do know is that the determination and commitment from those involved in grassroots football across Berks & Bucks will help the sport to bounce back when it is safe and ready to do so.

At every stage, the County FA and the FA will follow the guidelines set out by the Government to ensure that the football community is safe.

Liz Verrall
CEO, Berks & Bucks FA


In an announcement earlier today (Friday 15th May) The FA released guidance on permitted grassroots football ativity during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Read the Full statement here



Statement regarding County Cup Competitions 2019/20

On Wednesday 15th April an online meeting was held by the Board of Directors of Berks & Bucks FA to discuss the outstanding County Cup Competitions for the 2019-20 season.

Our County Cups are at various stages; with some competitions already having finalists decided and others still at the quarter final stage. With no timescale for a return to normality and football being able to resume safely again, we were faced with many challenging decisions.

With this in mind, after considerable discussion, The Board voted to cancel all outstanding County Cup Competitions for the 2019-20 season and to expunge the results.

We appreciate that teams, players, club officials and spectators have put in tremendous work and supported their teams to progress in the competitions and know that this decision will be disappointing for those closely involved in the latter stages. However, the health and welfare of our participants was at the heart of this difficult decision.

All teams who were still involved in Berks & Bucks FA County Cup competitions at the time of cancellation will receive free entry into next season's Cup.



Important Message from our CEO 

At this very difficult time, let me start by wishing you, your families and your members well. I would also like to pass on my thanks to the Berks & Bucks FA community for adapting to the changes and continuing to support football at this extremely challenging time.

The Government restrictions in place have had a major impact on all our lives both professionally and personally and while football is taking a “break” serious economic and social challenges are in place across the County. As a not-for-profit organisation we are not immune from these challenges and, at a recent board meeting, a difficult decision was made.

From Friday 10th April all Berks & Bucks FA staff, except for those listed below are to be placed on furlough leave.  All other members of staff have agreed to be placed on furlough leave for a short period in order to protect roles within the organisation and will not be financially disadvantaged during this period.

Core Team (Until further notice) 

Liz Verrall - Chief Executive Officer
Jon Wood - Head of Delivery
Richard Brant - Workforce Development Officer
Steph Clark - Communications Officer
Alastair Kay - Football Services Manager 
Chris Penny - Football Investigations Officer

The Core team will continue to provide general support and customer service to the football community across Berks & Bucks whilst we plan for the start of next season. (Please note however, that on occasions, staff may take longer than usual to reply to your request in line with working patterns, personal pressures and volume of work.)

During this period, if you have any queries, please direct them to as this email address will be accessible by all members of staff available at this time.

From myself, and all of us at Berks & Bucks FA, we hope that you remain fit and well. Please continue to stay safe while “Football Stays at Home”. 

Liz Verrall
CEO, Berks & Bucks FA



In an announcement earlier today (Thursday 19th March) The FA and other professional game bodies confirmed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than Thursday 30 April. 
Read the Full statement here



Following yesterday's Government announcement and the subsequent decision by The FA to postpone all grassroots football activities for the foreseeable future, we have the following update to provide for our football community across Berks & Bucks.

Berks & Bucks FA can confirm that we have postponed all of our football activities across the County with immediate effect.

This means that we have had to make the very difficult decision to postpone all outstanding County Cup competition fixtures, including Finals which were due to be played over the coming weeks, as well as all upcoming Education Courses, for the foreseeable future.

We understand that there will be disappointment and frustration for many of you over this decision and, in the short-term at least, confusion and concern about what happens next. 

The current global health crisis is an unprecedented and fast-evolving situation that we all find ourselves in together, and, whilst we may not have all the answers to your concerns right now, please be assured that we will be working hard over the coming days and weeks to keep you updated and bring you news when we have it. 

Throughout this period, we have continued to take Government advice, with the priority being the health and wellbeing of all in our community. With this in mind, we have also taken the decision to close our Headquarters with immediate effect with all staff now working from home until further notice.

Our aim at Berks & Bucks FA has always been to support the grassroots football community within our region, our affiliated clubs & leagues and our wider members. We are committed to continuing to do this wherever we can and we ask for your continued understanding in what is unchartered territory for us all.

Staff will remain contactable by phone with all direct-lines diverted to mobile. The main office numbers will not be monitored during this period so please do not leave a voicemail.
Contact a member of staff

If you can't get through on the main telephone, or if you have any questions or concerns regarding this announcement, please email and a member of staff will be in touch as soon as possible.
Email us

We will continue to monitor the situation closely but in the meantime, we hope that you stay safe & well and urge everyone to continue to follow the latest Government advice.



The FA have, this evening, released the following update regarding the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on football in England.


Following the Government announcement earlier today, for people to avoid social contact and gatherings where possible, we are now advising that all grassroots football in England is postponed for the foreseeable future.
Throughout this period, we have taken Government advice with the priority being the health and wellbeing of all. We will continue to work closely with the grassroots game during this time.
We are in regular communication with the Government and the situation within English football at all levels remains under regular review. Further updates will follow as needed.


Please be advised this announcement relates to all football activity at grassroots level including training sessions, friendlies and fixtures. Further updates from Berks & Bucks FA will follow in due course.



Following the announcement earlier today (Friday 13th March) by The FA and other professional game bodies to postpone all elite level football until 3rd April at the earliest, we can provide the following update.

At the time of writing, the government has not placed any restrictions or advisories against public gatherings, and The FA’s advice around grassroots football has not changed. 

However, any decision to continue playing or to postpone fixtures is a matter for each League/Competition as autonomous bodies within the game. 

We continue to urge people to take a common sense approach to the guidance provided and to highlight and emphasise the need for good hand hygiene at all times.

Today (Friday 13th March) at 16:30pm The FA released the following statement. An FA Spokesperson said:

"The FA is fully aware that there are questions about whether grassroots football in England should be played because of the Covid-19 virus.

"Consistent with Government advice, The FA is recommending that grassroots football is able to continue as usual for now, with each league or centre making its own individual decision based on its local situation and the availability of players and officials. However, we would fully respect and support any leagues, centres or teams that wish to postpone fixtures in light of the Covid-19 virus.

"The decision to postpone all professional football in England has been taken with the integrity of the competitions in mind, considering the availability of players, staff and facilities.

We will continue to monitor all Government advice and keep the situation under constant review, with the priority being the health and wellbeing of all. Further updates will follow as needed."



We continue to receive a high number of enquiries from our members looking for guidance regarding COVID-19 and attempts to control the spread of the virus, specifically in relation to the use of pre/post-match handshakes.

The FA continues to follow Government advice, which at the time of writing, continues to highlight and emphasise the need for good hand hygiene at all times but does not currently offer any directive to say that people should not be shaking hands.

However, we urge people to take a common sense approach to the guidance provided, and, if this means teams or individuals feel happier not shaking hands, then that is absolutely their choice and we would encourage Leagues to be understanding of people taking this decision.

Should teams decide not to shake hands or opt for an alternative method this must be conveyed to the match referee before the teams enter the field of play.

Alternatively, Leagues themselves may choose to issue a policy to remove the procedural pre/post match handshake, however this would be solely at the discretion of the League.

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