MESSAGE FROM OUR DIRECTOR
Parents and Players,
My last message/email with an update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it has had on our club was not to scare you or question our direction, or the fate of the club. I want to apologize if you feel that the message came sudden or in a way that you felt was not properly explained.
The truth is the pandemic has impacted the world, small businesses, families, and individuals so different. All of those different types of impacts are one way or another connected to the economy which has greatly affected the youth soccer industry.
I have no problem with being upfront about the club, direction and how we are looking into the future. We live by the phrase “SoccerViza Family”, our goal will always be to run the club in a way that our club members find enjoyment, trust, and love in the sport of soccer while being part of SVFC. What will always be the most important for me is the experience your child has every time they are on the soccer field or in an environment where SocceViza is present. Seeing them all proud to be part of our zoom virtual training sessions and saying things like they miss each other and the club has cemented that we have created something beyond the game of soccer.
This message is to follow up and hopefully make you better understand the impact of the COVID-19 on SoccerViza, the industry, leagues and much more.
We appreciate everyone who has fulfilled their payments to support the club. SoccerViza has STOPPED all weekly/monthly installments charges until further notice for those members who are on payment plans.
Here is why we have decided to stop taking payments at THIS TIME:
We have been contacted by some club members and been notified that they WILL NOT be continuing to play EVEN if there is a spring season due to fears of contracting the virus while at a future club/public event (game, practice, etc).
Due to club members LOSING their jobs they have contacted us to let us know they will no longer be able to pay their monthly dues.
For members being on monthly payments, the last annual payment was billed for April 1st. Meaning there would be NO more payment installments left in the 2019/20 billing cycle.
Cecilia and I will do our best to make things right for all club members if there is NO Spring season. We are currently in the process of monitoring how things will pan out. We are looking at different scenarios to benefit everyone who has paid in FULL, but with no timeline of being back in business at this current time, we can not provide any concrete answers/plans. Our planning is in conjunction with the nation and state restrictions on the economy being back up and running.
No refunds in the form of money paid back to each club member will be distributed. SoccerViza is a for-profit business and is not a non-profit or town program where monthly operating expenses are completely different. Payments (for all 18 SoccerViza teams) have already gone out in advance for league fees, tournament fees, and field rentals. This means that prior to the pandemic we were operating under a NO REFUND policy with all vendors. Vendors have not gotten back to us with a plan for any possible refunds.
SoccerViza being a for-profit start-up company, we do not get the luxury of having access or renting public facilities at a 90% discounted rate. SoccerViza, like all privately owned soccer clubs, MUST RENT/LEASE field space for games and practices in advance with an upfront payment and long term lease agreements.
All these factors and more tie into our decision of not giving actual money back to our paid in full members but to create an ongoing plan to make sure we can make things right.
Furloughing Our Coaches & Staff:
Our coaches are amazing and they are still with us through this time and have been extremely supportive. Our decision to furlough our coaching and office staff, for the time being, is due to the unknown of when we will be up and running.
Unlike our office staff, we have coaches who are part-time coaches/workers who have day jobs of their own. Some of our coaches have lost their day jobs due to the pandemic and have had to either move or act quickly and make life decisions that were mandatory for their own personal reasons. Those things are beyond our control, 100% respected and we understand our coaches’ decisions during a time like this.
With no practices and games taking place, and worldwide changes happening due to the pandemic (like coaches moving back to their home countries or home states) our decision was to take the month of April to see what unfolds in order to plan properly for the future.
Also, understand that with the furloughing of our staff and coaches Cecilia and I have had to take over operations of dealing with all 400+ SoccerViza club members’ emails, logistics, and communication. If we do not get back to you right away we will as soon as we can.
Again, this COVID-19 has hit youth sports clubs and small businesses in different ways. The league is fighting with many different aspects in order to start a spring season. Here are a couple of scenarios that I hope to make you understand how this pandemic has affected the youth sports industry...
Economy Open Date: The government has yet to even give a confirmed date where small businesses and the workforce will be able to go back to their daily routines. The nation also does NOT know whether it will permit people to go back to doing group psychical activities at open public parks or gyms. This has a huge impact on a start date for the spring season. Point blank, there is NO exact start date because of the state and nation safety protocols.
Roster Numbers: Clubs are folding or losing players day by day. The league now has teams pulling out due to not having full rosters. Some families/parents are refusing to have their kids continue to play for their respected clubs going into the spring season due to disease worries, financial reasons and more.
Field Space: Clubs are finding it harder and harder to find field space for games. Most private clubs (including SoccerViza) rent field space from private schools or towns. The majority of the venues have SHUT DOWN renting their fields to any outside vendors for the Spring season and foreseeable future due to the pandemic. The league has now received many complaints/concerns from clubs/teams regarding finding games and practice fields.
Clubs Folding: Some clubs have been on a month to month survival tactics before the pandemic and this pandemic has been the dagger in their club operations. With clubs folding or not sure about their existence, the league has a tough time on planning a schedule to proceed with.
Once we see a plan from our state regarding opening back up to physical activities and youth sports, we will 100% be ready with new tryout dates and a starting back up process. It is hard to plan a date and tryout logistics without knowing what the state guidelines are for re-opening.
Club Post COVID-19:
SoccerViza was started through hard work and a belief to be different. We have shown the soccer scene locally, regionally and nationally that in the short time we have been in existence that we can do things at a high level.
Through this pandemic, we have learned a lot about the industry and the small business world of running a youth sports organization. I am letting you all know in advance that this pandemic will lead to changes within SoccerViza as an organization. Whether it is staff, coaches, the tuition payment process or club policies just know it is to make sure we are here for the future.
Lastly please understand that SoccerViza is not a youth soccer club where your child just goes to learn and play the sport. It is a company that I have personally spent 8 years building and the livelihood of both Cecilia and myself.
Thank you for your trust.
My phone is always open if you have any questions. 203-434-5805
Stay safe and healthy.
Director Of Coaching