NORTHERN NSW Football chief executive David Eland has emailed an open letter to constituents, reassuring them that the game can ride out the coronavirus crisis and declaring season 2020 is not yet a write-off.
Northern has shut down all its competitions for "the health and safety of our players, coaches, volunteers, staff, spectators and supporters of football", but Eland said staff were still actively employed. "I can assure you it is business as usual here at Northern NSW Football," his email read.
"We're all working remotely to do our bit to reduce the spread of the virus, however our systems are working very well and I encourage you to engage with our staff by email and phone."
Eland said Football Federation Australia's decision to suspend the code nationally had received "wholehearted support" in this region.
"The decision to suspend football due to the coronavirus has been well received by clubs and reflected sentiment from the general public," he wrote.
"But our message is clear. Season 2020 is not cancelled - it has only been postponed.
"We look forward to being back on the pitch as soon as it is safe to do so."
He pointed to the long and proud history of football in this region as evidence it will survive in time of adversity.
"This is the 136th season of football in northern NSW.," he wrote "The game has endured the Great Depression of the 1930s as well as two world wars. Football has survived and played on.
"We are confident we will get back on the pitch when the time is right."
Eland noted that NNSWF had more than 50,000 registered players for this season.
In the worst-case scenario, where no play is possible this season, he understood that there would be requests for refunds but asked for patience.
"Let's wait and see if we can get on the pitch, once we get the go-ahead," he wrote.
"If that situation doesn't arise, then yes, we will be in touch to let you know about refunds. We're a long way away from that at present. Between now and then, if you are in financial hardship, please let your club know. We understand.
"Your club is the first place to go if you are seeking a refund now because of financial hardship, however please keep in mind that your club does not have the authority to refund the governing-body fees. This will be addressed by the respective governing bodies in due course."
Eland said "nothing was off the table" when it comes to contigency plans, such as midweek games, finishing the season later and waiving finals.