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Grassroots clubs will receive free affiliation as Berks & Bucks County FA announces measures to ease financial burden

The Berks and Bucks County FA has announced that grassroots clubs in the two counties will receive free affiliation, public liability insurance and team registration for the 2020/21 season.

The county FA’s chair Liz Verrall announced the measures this week to ease the financial burden on clubs through what is likely to be an extremely challenging period.

She said: “As well as free affiliation clubs will also receive free public liability insurance via Bluefin and free team registration.” However, she went on to say that there is an expectation that personal accident insurance will still need to be purchased by the clubs as normal.

Given the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, the county’s FA has also postponed the window for affiliation until August 1, 2020.

Verrall added that the B&B FA ‘were not prepared to risk the safety of football participants by opening the window earlier’ and stressed that as far as football in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire was concerned, ‘no group face-to-face activities were permissible’.

Verrall also confirmed there’s a real chance that there will be no Berks & Bucks FA County Cup matches in 2020/21, adding: “We must 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 county cup competition programme not commencing by November 1, then the competitions will not start.”

The Berks & Bucks FA also explained what football activities are currently permissible, provided social distancing guidelines are followed. These are: Playing football individually (individual skills or fitness activities); playing football with your family or other people living in your household; playing football with one other person who is not from your household – provided you maintain a 2m distance – and coaching a player one-to-one but following the same guidelines.

Additionally, maintaining grass or artificial football pitches are permitted so long s social distancing measures and appropriate hygiene practices are followed.

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