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Football Association confirm Non-League won’t start without supporters

Football Association National League Football Association Hartlepool United FA Trophy South Shields coronavirus

The Football Association have confirmed that the top seven levels of Non-League football won’t start next season without fans or at different times.

The FA’s contingency plans for the 2020/21 campaign are circulating among clubs and competitions this weekend following an online meeting on Friday with officials from Step 5 and 6 competitions.

The planning for the return of football is dependent on getting the green light from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport amid the coronavirus pandemic.

An official FA document for clubs entitled ‘Club Guidance on COVID-19 Return’, is set to be sent out by competitions within days after being reviewed.

While being unable to make any guarantees, the FA believe the most likely restart would be in September with late January a worst case scenario.

A contingency plan should next term also be curtailed due to a second wave of coronavirus was also discussed. In that event, leagues being decided by points per game was mooted, although no decision was made.

If it is possible, the FA still intends to run the FA Cup, FA Trophy and FA Vase in full. With the governing body already facing an estimated £300m loss, the prize money of all the competitions reverts back to the levels they were at in 2018 before being boosted with the Trophy and Vase both taking a six percent hit.

The FA will require all clubs at any level of the game to produce and publish a risk assessment and/or action plans to ensure they are Covid-19 secure.

This risk assessment will cover a return to full training and matches, the use of facilities including clubhouses and dressing rooms, travel to and from training and matches, and the volunteer workforce at each club.

The FA also confirmed the controversial decision to rule out promotion and relegation below Step 2.

For the full story and more details – published by a number of competitions including the Hellenic League, Northern Counties East Football League, North West Counties Football League and South West Peninsular League – make sure you get your copy of The Non-League Paper this weekend!

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Images courtesy of The Non-League Paper

 

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