As you may have all read on social media, the FA held a meeting on Thursday evening, which myself and the Chairman attended, where the proposed restart of competitive football at our level on 2nd December was discussed.
The FA reiterated that their key object remains "to conclude the 20/21 season and achieve promotion and relegation as a result, either by completing all fixtures or rely on a mathematical equation."
They also reported that at Steps 5 & 6 players/teams can travel between tiers, however for our level of football no spectators are allowed for those clubs situated in tier 3. In addition, we were also informed that clubs in tier 2 cannot open their clubhouses, other than to provide a takeaway service, which must be consumed off the premises ie outside of the ground.
Finance - As previously reported in the press, there is a sum of £14 million made available to clubs at steps 3 to 6, however 80% of that sum will be classed as loans, the remainder in grants, the terms regarding the loans have not yet been made public.
They closed by informing us that the FA Vase matches arranged for the next few Saturdays will go ahead, irrespective of which tier the competing clubs are in.
As you may remember, in June, it was stated that it was not sustainable for member clubs to play matches 'behind closed doors' for an undetermined length of time and that clubs also need the revenue from clubhouses and food sales, this view has not changed. The full Management Committee met yesterday to discuss the current situation and unanimously agreed that, as the vast majority of clubs in all Divisions have been placed in Tier 3, it is still unsustainable to expect clubs to play without any supporters.
Therefore, the decision has reluctantly been made to suspend the restart of all League fixtures until 19th December, We will then review the decision again on 16th December once the government has reviewed their tier levels.
In addition the Management Committee also agreed that, if fixtures do resume on 19th December that clubs can agree to switch their Boxing Day fixtures to 28th, 29th or 30th December to allow everyone to take advantage for the relaxation in the rules regarding families coming together this Christmas.
In closing, we have not taken this decision lightly, however we feel that it is the only practical and fair decision for all member clubs.
Stay safe and hopefully see you soon.
Midland Football League
The official news channel of the Midland Football League (founded 2014)