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Curtailment of non-League 2020-21 season at steps three to six means no more matches for Bishop's Stortford, Stansted, Takeley, Sawbridgeworth and Enfield




Bishop's Stortford have had time called on their Pitching In Isthmian League, Premier Division campaign after a recommendation was made to cancel the 2020-21 season.

The Blues have played only six of their 42 league matches due to the coronavirus pandemic, with 11 games being the most any side has completed.

The Government's roadmap out of lockdown, unveiled by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday (Feb 22), includes the return of organised outdoor sports such as football from March 29, with spectators allowed back in stadiums, under capacity restrictions, from no earlier than May 17.

Bishop's Stortford will have to wait until next season for more chances to celebrate after the announcement of the curtailment of the non-League season at steps three to six. Picture: Vikki Lince
Bishop's Stortford will have to wait until next season for more chances to celebrate after the announcement of the curtailment of the non-League season at steps three to six. Picture: Vikki Lince

But the FA's alliance and league committees, taking into account responses from clubs to a survey on how best to conclude the second coronavirus-hit season in a row, have decided to recommend curtailment of the season at steps three to six with immediate effect.

The committees will now present their collective recommendations to the FA Council for ratification. The move means the Essex Senior League, Premier Division season will also be cancelled for Stansted, Sawbridgeworth, Takeley and Stortford's tenants Enfield.

"Submissions were made by 99.1% of clubs at steps three and four, and 95.8% of clubs at steps five and six," said the FA in a statement. "We would like to thank the clubs for submitting their views and the time taken in providing responses during what we appreciate is an incredibly challenging period for everyone.

"The results of the survey showed that over 76% of all clubs across steps three to six indicated a preference to curtail the 2020-21 league season if it could not be restarted with limited spectator numbers and hospitality before April 1.

"During this process, taking into account views of clubs and leagues, it was decided that extending the 2020-21 league 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% of matches left to complete for steps three and four, and 75% at steps five and six.

"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 league committees have reached a consensus that subject to the approval of FA Council, the 2020-21 league season for steps three to six of the National League System should be curtailed with immediate effect, with no further league matches taking place this season.

"The committees will now present their collective recommendations to the FA Council for ratification."



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