Posted: 27.02.21 at 08:30 by Philippa Davies
The league season is over for the first teams of three East Devon football clubs – Sidmouth Town, Axminster Town and Honiton.
The South West Peninsular League has decided to curtail the 2020-2021season with immediate effect, despite the fact the government has indicated that football can recommence as from March 29th.
A statement from the league said: “Taking into account views of clubs and leagues, it was decided that extending the 2020-21 season beyond the end of May 2021 would not be a viable option.
“This was due to various considerations, including the financial implications for many clubs, player contracts and the extent of the fixture scheduling issues caused by the national lockdown and various postponements which had resulted in there being 81 per cent of matches left to complete for Steps 3 and 4, and 75 per cent at Steps 5 and 6.
“Taking into account the survey results and the ongoing impact of Covid-19, which continues to adversely affect incomes for clubs due to restrictions on both spectators and hospitality, The FA’s Alliance and Leagues Committees have reached a consensus that subject to the approval of FA Council, the 2020-21 league season for Steps 3-6 of the NLS should be curtailed with immediate effect, with no further league matches taking place this season.”
However, it does not mean that no football will be played as the League are looking into the viability of staging two cup competitions in April and May. A draft proposal has been sent out to all clubs seeking their views prior to a Board meeting on March 10th.
Entry to the two competitions will be free but prize money structure is still to be agreed. The two cups proposed include a knock-out and a group cup, which will ensure club would have at least five matches to play and at least two would be at home (three if drawn at home in knock-out cup). Regionalisation has been factored in too.