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National League System Update - 21 March

In this update:
Latest update following Chancellor statement on 20th March Reminder information regarding the 2019/20 season


The Government announced yesterday that it will pay 80% of the salary of staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month.

NLS clubs have a variety of different employees and we are urgently working with Government to understand which ones would be eligible for the new programme. We are also gettingdetails for clubs in regards to the other announcements made where relevant.

We are in ongoing dialogue, including this weekend, withthe Department for Culture, Media and Sport as well as HM Treasury. When detailshave been confirmed and timescalesannounced we will come back to you with further information.

Below is information currently confirmed by the Treasury.

Treasury support currently announced for businesses:

Clubs are asked to review the current Business Rate relief/grants as below:
• Grant funding of £25,000 is available for hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
• A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will be introduced.
• Government have defined Leisure Facilities to include: sports grounds and clubs, sport and leisure facilities and clubhouses.

Also, the Treasury has announced:
• The govt is bringing forward legislation to allow SMEs to reclaim statutory sick pay paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19
o Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible (further information to follow)
• Clubs in financial distress with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC's Time To Pay service
o Please call the dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559 who can help with any tax deferrals and revised payback schedule
• Clubs that have insurance for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered. However, the impact of government advice on mass gatherings in terms of insurance is yet to be confirmed
o Please check your individual insurance policy

Clubs are encouraged to visit the government's support for businesses page or contact your local authority which will be issued with guidance to help businesses in their area.


The FA is continuing to work closely with the Leagues in the National League System and is considering a number of options in relation to the conclusion of the 2019/20 season that fall in line with the advice being given by Government in respect of COVID-19.

Under the Regulations of the National League System (2.4) League fixtures are due to be completed by 25th April 2020.

As part of this process

1. The Alliance Committee is holding a Conference Call on Monday 23 rd March 2020 to review the current situation
2. The FA will be inviting all Step 5/6 League Chairs to a WebEx meeting on Tuesday 24th
March 2020


The FA will continue to monitor the situation regarding grassroots football and will provide further updates in due course.


Colleges are now closed for the majority of students. Institutions have been asked to remain open for children of Key Workers and for Vulnerable Children, of which guidance for providers is available on www.gov.uk. Clubs who operate education provision at their premises are encouraged to seek urgent guidance from their Education Provider. Academies are asked to follow FA guidance in regards to the suspension of training and matches until further notice

NLS General

Head of National League System
Laurence Jones laurence.jones@thefa.com 07739 592 517

National League System Manager
Matt Edkins matt.edkins@thefa.com 07970 224 378

Academies Manager (NLS)
James Earl james.earl@thefa.com 07872 029 121
(if any Club is seeking guidance on the continuation of post-16 academies please contact James)

Player Status (National Game)
Lucy Hamshere All email queries to registrations@thefa.com 07944 125 562
Sean Joyce 07973 711 171
Gemma Stubbles 07971 925 005

Getting the latest government advice/understanding if self-isolation should apply

Read the latest information about the situation in the UK, along with guidance for what to do if you think you’re at risk.

Go to NHSUK/coronavirus for information about the virus and how to protect yourself. Use the 111 online coronavirus service to check if you need medical help.

For guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults – CLICK HERE

COVID-19: guidance for mass gatherings – CLICK HERE