FAQ July 29, 2020

Please see the frequently asked questions below and our corresponding answers which we hope will help address any concerns members may have. 

"Will we continue to play?"

Yes. We are planning to play this fall, but realize in these ever-changing times we also need to be ready to adapt to changing circumstances.

As of Wednesday, July 29, 2020, we are allowed to continue with training, practice, and intra-club friendlies, per updated guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). 

The league we play in, SLYSA, has alternate field plans in case St. Louis County remains closed for competition when the league starts on August 22, 2020. Dr. Sam Page, St. Louis County Executive, has said he hopes to lift the County's restriction on competition in 4 weeks, which would open up more opportunities for field time. SLYSA has field space at their facility in St. Charles, MO as well as areas outside St. Louis County. 

Please keep in mind that SLYSA has until late December to get games in. Even if a delay were to occur, the first step would most likely be to postpone games, not cancel the entire fall session. 

Do I need to pay the club fees now if we might get canceled later?” 

Thank you to everyone who has made their payment. We have already incurred expenses and obligations regarding training expenses, field maintenance including turf, SLYSA non-refundable fees, insurance, software, etc.  When players agree to accept a position we immediately begin incurring costs on their behalf. If payment has not been made, keep in mind those direct costs have still been incurred. Additionally, if the season goes according to the normal schedule, we will have offered a month of extra training for many teams. There will not be an extra charge to those teams for that training. Please consider the installment plan as a way to reduce the fees burden and keep in mind fees cover fall and spring sessions. Please reach out to us if finances are an issue and we will make arrangements as needed.   

“Will I receive a refund if a 2020-2021 SLYSA session gets canceled?”

Yes. Assuming SLYSA games did not take place and we were unable to fill them with other games, we will provide a refund/credit as needed, which would be based on the expenses incurred to date. In short, the less soccer played, the more the refund/credit would be. The more soccer played, the less the refund/credit would be. 

In short, we will not keep fees that have not been paid out in expenses. Those funds would be returned or credited to members. 

"What about uniforms? Do I still need to order a uniform?" Please keep in mind we order uniforms every two years because many players outgrow theirs, lose items, etc.  Additionally, many items rotate out of production and are no longer available. We enter into a contract to make sure we will have the quantities and sizes we need. We had to commit to our order nearly 9 months in advance. When we placed our order, we were were, unfortunately, not aware of the pending pandemic situation. We understand the timing of the uniform order may not be ideal for some families because of the virus situation. We will work with families who need assistance as needed. They can reach out to us at club@altonfightingirish.com.  

"Why did fees go up this year?"  

The 2020-2021 fee increase is largely related to the anticipated cost of turf usage. Additionally, player fees have been underwritten the past few years by sponsor contributions as well as the annual Glo-Bingo fundraiser. In short, these revenue sources directly lowered the cost to play for our families. As you know the Glo-Bingo fundraiser was canceled and sponsor revenue decreased, all due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, the combination of turf increases and reduced revenue all came about at the same time. 

Overall, the fees continue to be less than most, or comparable to, other local soccer clubs. They are also significantly less than many other club sports. We have been working on turf fields for several years and have been the driving force behind the turf field expansions in Alton and Godfrey. We are confident you will see the value in these upgraded facilities. Additionally, the turf fields allow us to host SLYSA games locally, hopefully reducing some travel time and expenses during the season. Please know that we have prided ourselves on not letting cost be a barrier to playing. We have never turned a player away due to cost. If a family is needing assistance they should reach out to us at club@altonfightingirish.com

 

"How was my spring COVID credit determined?"

Spring refunds were approximately 25% of total fees for most teams. Refunds/credits were determined on a team by team basis because some teams played more spring games than others. From an accounting perspective and practically speaking, expenses are not simply divided in half by the fall and spring SLYSA sessions.

Unfortunately, some clubs were not able to weather the spring 2020 cancellations due to COVID-19. Fortunately, our club has followed best practices for financial planning. We are proud of the training, competition and now the facilities we offer and look forward to continuing to provide value to our members.