Isthmian League restart on hold - but may be reviewed in fortnight

Isthmian League games are unlikely to restart just yet - but hopes of getting the season going could be reviewed in less than a fortnight.

Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 9:26 pm
Updated Friday, 4th December 2020, 10:14 am
Horsham and Bognor are among clubs waiting to restart their Isthmian League games / Picture: Lyn Phillips

The league, together with the Northern and Southern Leagues, say a 'substantial' number of clubs agreed the current 'pause' to the season should continue - though they did not say whether that number was a majority.

One of the other step three/four leagues - the Southern League - said the matter was now 'subject to comment by the FA'.

That suggests the FA may have the final say on when the leagues get going again - though what is not known is whether they will be basing the decision on an actual recommendation from the three leagues to keep teams out of league action for now.

There is talk of the issue being reviewed again by or on December 16 - which is when the government is due to review which areas are in different Covid lockdown tiers. That could still pave the way for the first post-lockdown games to be be staged on Saturday, December 19 - but probably only if more areas move from tier three to tier two.

The Isthmian League said a further statement would be issued in due course.

The full Isthmian statement, issued on Thursday evening, said: "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.

"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 by all concerned and a further statement will be issued in due course."

The Southern League issued a statement which was slightly different and said the FA would be involved.

Their statement said: "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 first review to be no later than 16th December.

"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 and is subject to comment by the FA."

Here's how we have reported the issue and reaction to it in the past couple of days...