Firstly, let me wish you all a Happy New Year, and hope that 2021 brings us to a better place than we have been of late.
We held a meeting of Leagues Committee on the 5th January 2021 to in the main, discuss the current lockdown imposed throughout the country. It is apparent to us all, that with the current restrictions in place any resumption of the NLS in a manner that provides the clubs with safety coupled with the ability to admit supporters and to have secondary spend, means that completing the 2020/2021 season is becoming increasingly doubtful.
We are mindful that the Clubs and yourselves need to be advised as to what our plans are to see if there is any possibility to play out this season, or alternatively to be able to advise as to how and when this season is concluded.
To this end, we decided that as with Steps 3 and 4, we will be issuing via yourselves a survey for the clubs to complete that will give us the information that we can consider to assist us making our recommendation to FA Council as to how we conclude the season.
To be clear, within the survey we are not asking the clubs to vote on any specific decision, we are simply using the survey to gather the views of the clubs.
We are mindful from information coming back to us from yourselves that extending the season into June would not be feasible. We can advise that this is also the view of the Step 3 and 4 Leagues.
So, to conclude a very brief note, we will send a copy of the survey to you for your Boards to have advance sight of the survey, before its publication via yourselves to the clubs, which will be sent shortly. Once we have received the results, the Leagues Committee will meet and make its decision upon a recommendation to FA Council. We will then call a meeting of the Step 5 & 6 Leagues to advise you as to our decision.
The County FA’s will be liaising with the Regional Feeder Leagues as to how they may decide what is the best options for themselves to conclude their seasons . Laurence Jones and James Earl assured us that the FA Executive remain in constant dialogue with DCMS/Sport England regarding the £14M winter survival funding, where the FA are pushing very hard for this to be in the form of Grants as opposed to Loans. Any news on this we will of course circulate to you as soon as it becomes available.
Please continue to keep safe, keep well and sane!
FA Leagues Committee Chairman