Thank everyone for all of your hard work to get this season off the ground. Special thanks for generating and implementing the Risk Assessment Management System (RAMS) documents
The Covid situation with Local Disruptions remains a situation that changes almost daily. The latest is that there is no change to Step 5&6 football in our region as far as The FA are concerned.
We remain very much on our own in making policy. The FA do promise to support us in what we do. So this message is an update with some background information to help us all keep safe.
These are of real value as they are designed to keep everyone safe. RAMS documents are the guide used by visiting clubs and spectators to keep themselves safe whilst at the host club. Home club players, management and officials are expected to be role models.
Feedback from Clubs
In the main the comments have been complementary on the implementation of the host club RAMS
There are some areas that have been highlighted:-
- Dressing Rooms being used by greater numbers than the RAMS and club agreements permit. (For example eleven players, does not mean eleven players, substitutes, and management team all at the same time.)
- Not every Host Covid Officer is holding the briefing meeting for their Visitors.
- Social Distancing of Spectators around the ground and in the seating areas, not remaining in groups of six.
- Little social distancing and siting at tables etc….. in the bar area;
How can we improve in these areas?
The first two are ‘Confirmation of Game’, Covid Officer briefing, and visiting club team manager awareness issues.
The latter two are compliance with the law of the land, which are out of The League’s jurisdiction.
Confirmation of Game In Covid times the ‘Confirmation of Game’ needs to go beyond the traditional kit colours and a map. So more time needs to be allocated, or more detail included in a written confirmation.
The Host Club is expected to ensure that the Visitors are aware of the contents of their RAMS plus the number of people allowed in the dressing rooms simultaneously. This needs to be made clear (maybe a sign displayed on the dressing room door itself). If the sum of team, substitutes and management team is more than allowed, then a suitable area for pre-match, and half time meetings needs to be defined. We are moving into the poor weather season, so ideally this area needs to be covered.
Match Officials need similar information and also where the pre-match meeting takes place.
The Visiting Club has to respect these instructions. Therefore the person involved in the match confirmations must inform his team managementof the details.
Host Club Covid Officer Briefing Each Club has a Covid Officer and this person is required to host a meeting of the Visiting team and its management to re-enforce the details of the RAMS, and the arrangements for the day. This meeting has to be arranged, and non-attendance is disrespectful.
Visiting Club Team Management Must ensure that they and their team implement the information for the day from the Match Confirmation and the Covid Officer Briefing..It is also disrespectful to the Home club just to do what was done in previous years. If in doubt ask.
What happens elsewhere in football and other sports? We have to realise that we are in a very privileged position, in being the only area in any sport that has been allowed to re-start with paying spectators. The FA have worked extremely hard with the Department of Media Culture & Sport to secure this.
It saddens me to report that one League at our level has had to appoint a Covid Officer to attend League matches and take action where the RAMS is not being implemented. They have already reduced allowable crowd levels at some grounds, with the threat of future games to be played behind closed doors.
Track & Trace This is becoming more of an issue as time goes on. The aim is so that the virus can be tracked and the possibly infected people can be requested to isolate. It is a legal requirement for the NHS Track & trace QR to be displayed. It is a legal requirement for all at our grounds to be registered (minimum of name and mobile phone number) at the ground (this includes training etc….). Other Track & Trace QR’s can be used, and even pen plus paper. With the latter please do not share the same pen with everyone…………………
When the visiting team arrives ensure that all of the team & team management are registered with the host club.
Bars have to be closed and empty by 10pm. Everyone is aware that this is the new Law of the Land. It makes post-match hospitality impossible and the League has informed clubs that it is not expected. Almost everyone understands this. Disturbingly reports have reached The League Management of players abusing host club bar staff because there is no hospitality. Whilst we all understand the frustration, some respect is needed.
If anyone has a ‘Confirmation of Game’ email that is fit for Covid time purpose, that they can share, please send me a copy. Obviously other clubs would need to customise it for their use.
I hope that all of the above will be taken in the spirit that is intended.
Bob Dalling, Chairman
uhlsport Hellenic League