Isthmian League bosses to meet on Monday - and are ready to make 'difficult' decisions

Isthmian League chiefs will meet on Monday to discuss their next moves after their decision to postpone all this weekend's fixtures in the light of the coronavirus spread.

Will Horsham v Bognor turn out to be the final Sussex derby of the season in the Isthmian League? Picture: Tommy McMillan
Will Horsham v Bognor turn out to be the final Sussex derby of the season in the Isthmian League? Picture: Tommy McMillan

The league, which contains numerous Sussex clubs in its premier and south east divisions, called off games across all their divisions on Saturday, following the lead of the Premier League, Football League and others in non-league who had done the same.

Now they will meet to work out what to do next - and with coronavirus cases continuing to escalate, it seems highly likely further rounds of fixtures will be postponed.

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A statement issued by Isthmian League chairman Nick Robinson said: "Following the suspension of fixtures yesterday the Board of Directors of the League met by video conference at lunchtime (on Saturday). There is little doubt that the decision made to suspend was the most critical decision made by this League since the fixtures were suspended in September 1939.

"The consensus of opinion is that the decision to suspend was the right one and it will be more difficult to rule whether or not the season can be continued. Such a decision has to be taken in the light of all existing information.

"The Football Association has convened a conference call for 4pm on Monday to review the events of the weekend and the Government has indicated that it will announce whether to postpone gatherings early next week. The board will therefore convene at 6pm on Monday to decide what date to put on the suspension so that Clubs have a clear view of what is happening and can make plans themselves.

"In the meantime, no decisions are being made about the league, about play-off matches or promotion and relegation. There is no information at present about financial support from either the FA or Government, but these are all ongoing concerns which we continue to voice. The only matter which is clear at present is that contract players need to be paid, unless those players agree not to be paid

"There is no ban on non-competitive matches, but clubs are asked to bear in mind all facts before making any decisions about the holding of any events.

"It is a matter of regret that we are unable to be more positive at present, but the greater majority of clubs have indicated their understanding of the board’s position. One or two responses have been less helpful than others and all that can be said is that as soon as rational decisions can be made the board will make those decisions, however difficult they are.

"In the meantime, the board hope that all connected with the League remain in good health."

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