As indicated previously the Southern League Board has met following the latest Government review and they have unanimously agreed to continue with the pause of the 2020/21 season.
Since the initial survey on the 2nd December the infection rate has deteriorated in the geographical footprint of our Member Clubs, which has resulted in a larger number of Southern League Clubs being placed in Tier 3. In reaching this decision the Board considered several factors such as the lack of income from secondary spend revenue, the reduced attendances at Tier 3 clubs and more importantly, the duty of care the league has to Players, Club Officials, Volunteers and Supporters during this current pandemic.
The Board will continue to monitor the situation in line with the Government review dates and/or any decision that allows Government grants to become available to member clubs. The Board has not yet set a formal re-start date but this is unlikely to be before the 9th January 2021 and the Clubs will be given at least 10 days’ notice of the recommencement of the 2020/21 season allowing them preparation time to stage League matches.
It is also noted that the Isthmian League are taking a similar approach with their Member Clubs.
Daventry Town Club Secretary Brian Porter commented “I am desperately sorry for the club’s supporters that we will not be able to see football at Elderstubbs from the remainder of this year, however, I fully support the stance taken by the league. Since the survey was taken after the meeting at the start of the month when 78% of clubs, including ourselves, voted to suspend football, more clubs have moved into Tier 3. Whilst Tier 3 clubs can now admit supporters, nothing has changed for Tier 2 clubs”
“Under Tier 2 restrictions, we are unable to use the hatch on match days and the spend at the bar is extremely limited under the current ruling and we, like most clubs, cannot operate at this level of football without this secondary spend over the bar.”
“Whilst the Government has put a considerable amount of money on the table to help football at our level, this money is only available to clubs in the form of a loan and I would not want to see our club, or any other, get into to a debt that we cannot get out of.”
“With the next Government review due so soon after Christmas, I really cannot see any change to the situation before mid to late January at the earliest.”