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Essex FA club and league affiliations underway

PUBLISHED: 13:43 28 May 2014 | UPDATED: 13:43 28 May 2014

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County FA chief executive wants more grass-roots investment

Essex County FA Chief Executive, Phil Sammons, has stated in the latest Annual Report that he wants more money to be invested into grassroots facilities as he cut the ribbon on the 2014/15 club and league affiliation process, which is now underway online using the new FA ‘Whole Game System’ via essexfa.com.

The release of the report marks the start of the yearly affiliation window as staff at the County Office in Chelmsford prepare to approve registrations coming in over the summer. The yearly process in Essex takes place between May and July, and existing member clubs have until Tuesday 1st July to ensure their submission is completed in time. This is also the deadline for entries into one of the various County Cups, and to avoid a late affiliation fee.

Sammons’ opening remarks in the Association’s Annual Report, which is now available to view at essexfa.com, covers the subjects of 3G pitches, inclement winter weather and the FA Youth Development Review. But he begins with comments on the current financial status of all levels of football whilst expressing a desire for more of the great wealth at the top end of football to be filtered down into the lower reaches.

“It is, of course, now a global game, generating vast sums of money at the top which has seen improvements in every aspect from stadium facilities, pitch quality, player salaries and TV coverage through to the advent of the use of goal line technology,” he observed. “This is sadly how millions see the football product only at the top.”

At a recent Essex County FA Board Meeting it was agreed that there would be no increase in affiliation or cup entry fees for 2014/15, and Phil continued: “At the bottom in grassroots, facility provision looks very different, as does the pitch quality. Money appears no objective at the top but, at the bottom, it is very limited. As a consequence, at grassroots level we are being challenged by the expectations this global image portrays.”

Clubs pay an annual affiliation fee to the County FA as part of their membership of the non-profit organisation, which includes a range of tangible benefits, as well as some which are less obvious. By developing clubs throughout the area, as well as acting as their governing body, the County FA work mostly amongst the amateur sector of football, looking for new participants and ensuring the game is safe and enjoyable for all.

All clubs need to have ‘Legal (Public) Liability’ insurance before their affiliation can be completed. The County FA have again pledged to cover the costs of each club’s cover at Step Seven of the National League System and below, worth £18 each. Since last season there is an extra requirement for adult clubs to have a basic level of ‘Personal Accident’ (PA) cover.

The County FA have also agreed to pay an enhanced amount of £20 towards Bluefin cover on behalf of all of the member clubs who require it. 50% of the costs of basic PA cover will additionally be supplied for youth teams - although optional - as part of a long-term commitment to reinvest money into the grassroots game.

Existing clubs have had an admission slip E-Mailed to them for the Annual General Meeting at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford on Thursday, June 5 at 7:30pm for the transaction of the ordinary and special business of the company. Attendance at this meeting is appreciated, although not compulsory for members.

New clubs will receive their prompts to affiliate by the end of May, but are advised, if they haven’t done so already, to contact the County Office to register their intentions.

Three or four alternative names for the club should be prepared in advance in case the first choice is not available. There is no deadline for new clubs to affiliate with the County FA, though each league sets their own final date for membership approaches.

Details on club and league affiliations, starting a new club and insurance can be found at essexfa.com under ‘Clubs/Affiliation’. This is also the place to find a digital copy of the Annual Report.

If you have any questions, contact the Governance Team on (01245) 393080/2/3/4/96 or E-Mail info@essexfa.com. Details are also shared on Twitter (@EssexCountyFA) and Facebook (EssexFootball).

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