Southern Combination football teams will be up for cup even if league is scrapped

Football-starved Southern Combination League teams are set to be offered the chance of cup competitions if it is not possible to resume playing in time to save the 2020-21 league divisions.

Selsey and Littlehampton could have some cup competitions to look forward to even if their league is terminated / Picture: Chris Hatton
Selsey and Littlehampton could have some cup competitions to look forward to even if their league is terminated / Picture: Chris Hatton

SCFL bosses are working on a number of different plans to put in place when they know when it will be possible to restart fixtures.

They are due to be part of a phone conference this Thursday between the FA and leagues who run non-league step five and six competitions, at which they hope to find out more about what might happen to the rest of the season.

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At their level, fixtures have been on hold since just before Christmas – and there is a growing feeling there will not be time to get league fixtures completed, even if a March restart is possible.

That will be a blow to some clubs who, for the second season running, will have seen promotion hopes dashed.

SCFL chairman Steve Nealgrove told us: “As a league chairman I want us to try to complete the season if it is at all possible, but I also know that’s looking unrealistic.

“Even if you were to extend the season until the end of May, you would have to ask teams to play three times a week. I don’t think that’s fair on clubs.

“It puts players, managers, committees and club volunteers under a lot of pressure. It’s not sustainable.

“If we can restart, say, in April, there will be a lot of teams wanting to play competitive football and we’re looking at playing all our cup competitions but perhaps in a group format so you could have groups of four or five and guarantee clubs at least three or four games. I think many would welcome that.”