THE West Riding FA have issued an update on how they are dealing with the coronavirus crisis and how they are supporting both staff and their clubs.

The statement, issued by CEO Hannah Simpson, read: "During these unprecedented and troubling times, I would like to take some time to assure you that, here at West Riding FA, we are doing our best to look after the health and well-being of everyone connected to our organisation.

"As you will have seen, the Government has launched unprecedented public health and economic responses to Covid-19 and on March 26, 2020, the Football Association reacted accordingly by suspending all grassroots football indefinitely.

"This message understandably evoked significant emotion throughout the grassroots football community.

"People were generally understanding and supportive of the decision however, for many, football was integral to their strategy in ‘finding a new normal’.

"Finding ‘a new normal’ is a challenge for everyone in society and particularly for football (and sport in general), where our actions, behaviours and responses are largely directed by tradition and habit.

"So, what does ‘finding a new normal’ mean to West Riding FA?

"Well, first and foremost, our efforts were concentrated on protecting lives and livelihood.

"Covid-19 exposed the vulnerability of our business model and the sphere we operate in. A model that relies on an active and engaged grassroots football community to survive, let alone thrive.

"In terms of protecting livelihoods, the safety and health of our staff was paramount.

"On April 1, the board placed 16 of the 23 employed members of staff on furlough. A core team of active staff were retained to continue supporting grassroots football across West Riding.

"With effect from April 6, 2020 until May 31, 2020, the following core staff comprise the active staff team at West Riding FA:

  • Hannah Simpson (CEO)
  • Jo de Tute (Head of Football Development)
  • Lee Maran (Senior Football Development Officer and Technical Lead)
  • Jamie Lea Smith (Football Services Manager)
  • Victoria Johnson (Finance)
  • Paul Ratcliffe (Safeguarding and Compliance)
  • Gary Stephens (West Riding HQ)

"During this time, please direct any enquiries to one of the seven members of staff mentioned above, or to

"Our headquarters are closed, and all staff are working remotely, so email is the preferred method of communication.

"We will continue to keep you updated with developments at West Riding FA through our social media channels, website and direct communication where appropriate.

"We are also supporting our leagues and competitions in concluding their 2020-21 season via a series of online AGMs and meetings.

"We are doing everything we can to maintain the infrastructure of football during this time and are activating our Business Recovery Plan to enable us to get football back up and running as soon as it is safe to do so.