Following many days of intense dialogue, between the Clubs, our League, the other Leagues in steps 3 and 4, the FA and Government. The following statement has been released by the NPL.
The Clubs in membership of the Northern Premier, Southern and Isthmian Leagues (the Trident Leagues) met earlier this week to consider the challenges and issues brought about by the reintroduction of Tiers after the raising of the nationwide lockdown with effect from yesterday (2nd Dec 2020).
The clubs were asked to vote on a proposition that the pause in fixtures be continued with a regular review in light of changes to the Tiers and/or grants becoming available. The total votes cast by the 224 Clubs show a substantial number of Clubs in agreement with the proposition. The matter has been considered today (3rd Dec 2020) and is subject to comment by The FA. A further statement will be issued in due course.
Why has this action been taken?
There are 45 Clubs in the three Northern Premier Leagues who currently sit in Tier 3 areas and are not permitted to admit supporters to their home games. Playing behind closed doors will result in Clubs receiving no income and suffer a financial loss.
What does this mean?
Effectively, no NPL fixtures will be played for at least the next two weeks, whist negotiations with the FA and Government continue.
Is there no grant aid from government to help?
Although recently it was announced that £14M was being made available to support Clubs at our level. At present, this money is only available through loans, and must be repaid. This will only add a further burden to clubs at this extremely difficult time. The League and the Clubs wish these funds to be distributed as grants, to support playing games behind closed doors.
What about the FA Trophy matches?
The FA have insisted that all Clubs fulfil their postponed FA Trophy games to the revised schedule. Reds will travel to Nantwich on Tuesday 8th December, as planned. If we progress the next fixture will take place on Tuesday 15th December.
Will fans be admitted to this game at Nantwich?
Yes – as things currently stands, both Clubs are located Tier 2 areas and as such fans can travel and attend the game.
When will we know more?
This is an ever-changing situation and under constant review. We will update everyone as soon as we know anything further.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.