Essex Senior League competitions could be streamed worldwide

LIVE matches could be streamed worldwide on a pay-to-view basis as part of radical plans by the Essex Senior League to run two supplementary end-of-season cup competitions.

With Government guidelines prohibiting paying spectators to cover the costs before May 17, league officials plan to use video technology to give fans everywhere their football fix – with the receipts being shared with participating clubs.

Two competitions are proposed, both dedicated to the memory of Essex FA vice president and Redbridge FC president Len Cordell, who died in February aged 88 after a short illness.

Under the plans, 16 clubs – including 11 from the Essex Senior and five ‘guest’ sides – will compete in the Len Cordell Memorial Cup on a group stage basis from April 10. All games will be streamed online.

The final will be played on May 29 at Oakside Stadium, home of Redbridge where Len was also match secretary for 16 years.

The five entrants from outside the league will be Barking, Barkingside, Billericay Town Reserves, FC Clacton and, from grassroots level, DTFC, who were unbeaten in the Essex Alliance this season.

Twelve teams from the league’s reserve division will enter the Len Cordell Memorial Trophy, which will also be played on a group basis with a knockout final stage.

However, because the reserve division is below Step 6, it was understood that spectators might be admitted under the current guidelines.

The cost of streaming all the Memorial Cup games was said to total £4,500, with viewers paying £5 a time, and the receipts from each match split between the clubs to cover their expenses.

League officials are also seeking sponsorship to meet the costs, and one businessman has come forward so far.

Three local county FAs have been asked for their support with the venture still in its early stages.

League secretary Michelle Dorling said: “We think it is important that we bring football back, for reasons of both physical and mental health.”

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