Following a meeting of the Management Committee of The North West Counties Football League this evening, the decision has been made to suspend the restart of the League season until 19th December.
The decision follows the move to introduce tougher restrictions in England meaning that 40 clubs currently sit in Tier 3 areas, which means they cannot admit spectators. The League indicated at the beginning of the pandemic that football behind closed doors at Steps 5/6 is not sustainable for the majority of clubs and therefore we had little choice but to continue with the suspension of fixtures.
The League will review the decision again on 16th December once the UK Government has reviewed the Tier levels. However, should the situation remain the same in relation to spectators being excluded from matches, then the restart will likely be postponed until Saturday 2nd January.
In addition, the League Management Committee also agreed that in the event fixtures resume on 19th, then clubs can agree to switch their Boxing Day fixtures to 28th, 29th or 30th December to allow volunteers, management and players to take advantage of the relaxation of rules allowing families to come together for Christmas.
The League will continue to work with clubs to manage the challenges faced due to the pandemic, and will work with the FA in pushing DCMS and the Government to allow spectators back into stadia at Steps 5/6. If this is not possible, then only the provision of grant funding for clubs would allow football to resume behind closed doors.