With the North West Counties Football League joining the country in lockdown in the fight against the coronavirus, the league has turned its attention to finances in order to help our member clubs.
As well as being Football Club's, all 60 of our clubs are businesses who are suffering financially from being closed at present. With games postponed there is no matchday money coming in through gate receipts, programmes sales, tea bar or bar sales. Club with clubhouses find themselves unable to put on functions which would otherwise boost their income, with any staff likely having to be furloughed.
Funds may be available to some clubs to help them through this time, with the Goverment, HMRC, Sport England and others all offering help if clubs meet specific criteria. However we are conscious as a league that we too must also do our best to help our own clubs.
Earlier this week the Finance Committee held a meeting via our conference call facility to come up a package that can help our clubs. These recommendations have been subsequently been approved and ratified by the Board via email communications.
The total amount of the package that was agreed totals over £35,000, and this is made up of some of the following items.
The league will be waiving the annual subscription for the 2020/21 season. This will ensure that NONE of our 60 clubs have to pay ANY annual fees for both the league, Macron Cup or PlayerMatch.com Cup.
Our Annual General Meeting and Awards Dinner that we hold every year at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool is to be cancelled this year. Clubs pay for this in their League Services payments throughout the year, and this will be reimbursed to all clubs. Details of a revised date and venue for our AGM will be given to clubs in due course as per Article 9.1 once the situation becomes clearer.
Clubs that are owed money for match officials travelling expenses will be paid with immediate effect. Our league operates an equalisation scheme where every club pays the same amount for match offcials regardless of location, with some clubs refunded and some billed at the end of each season.
The league are also looking to further reduce costs for the 2020/21 season through a variety of measures that can in turn be passed onto the clubs. This could include online handbooks, the reduction of matchday paperwork and match report books, or a reduction in pass cards and the Observers levy.
Unfortunately, any otstanding amounts that clubs owe to the league via fines or referee equalisation cannot be written off as it would be in breach of Article 4. However any clubs that do owe money can request a deferment via the League Secretary on the amount owed to .