Non-league clubs must wait for decision on 2020/21 season

Non-league football remains on hold. Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty ImagesNon-league football remains on hold. Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Non-league football remains on hold. Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Non-League clubs will have to wait a bit longer to discover what is to become of the 2020/21 season.

The vast majority of teams between Steps 3 and 6 in the National League System haven’t played any competitive football since the end of October or the beginning of November last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

And some in the Northern Premier League and Northern Counties East League have only played as few as six or seven league matches so far.

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Clubs across those steps were asked for their opinions on how the season should be concluded in a Football Association survey at the beginning of the year.

Those results have now been discussed but, in their most recent update, the FA confirmed that any decisions will now be put on hold until after next week.Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to reveal the government’s ‘roadmap’ out of the current national lockdown on Monday, February 22.

And the FA have decided to wait until after that before taking any further steps while also acknowledging that whatever becomes of the National League (Steps 1 and 2) seasons could also have an impact on their decisions.

“The Alliance Committee (Steps 3 & 4) and Leagues Committee (Steps 5 & 6) met on February 8 and 9, respectively, to discuss the data that was collated following the recent surveys circulated to clubs at this level of the game,” the FA statement said.

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“During discussions, the committees acknowledged the likelihood that the Prime Minister will set out a ‘roadmap’ to the nation on February 22 as to how the government intends to begin to reduce the current Covid-19 restrictions.

“Given that any such update from the government on February 22 may provide the committees with additional, relevant information to help determine the preferred route forward, they have agreed to reconvene after this date.

“In addition, the Alliance Committee are also conscious of the ongoing process the National League (Steps 1 & 2) are undertaking and the potential impact this could have on any actions the committee may choose to take.”

Ahead of the survey, the Trident Leagues, which consists of the Southern League, Northern Premier League and Isthmian League, recommended to their member clubs that the season should be declared null and void.