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News | Step 3 Approaching Crunch Time
10 Jan 2021, Sunday

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Following the third national lockdown the views of member club’s of the Trident Leagues will be canvassed on whether to end the season as soon as possible or what the alternative should be. Although the survey is not a strict vote, the response will help to inform the decision.

The consultation process will take time and it will be early February before the Alliance Committee formulate it’s official recommendation to the FA Council, who ultimately make the decision.

The leagues have already postponed all fixtures up until 6th March. Even in the ‘elite status’ National League, plus the North and South divisions many clubs are experiencing cancellations because of positive virus tests. Some Clubs at Step 3 have only played 5 or 6 games, so completing the season will require a herculean effort from many players. Some managers are concerned that protocols are no longer sufficient to protect players and staff, while some players give the impression that they aren’t keen to continue playing even with testing in place at Steps 1 and 2.

Mark Harris, chairman of the Northern Premier League speaking in the Non-League Paper said “When 83% of clubs across Steps 3 and 4 found themselves in Tier 4 after Christmas the chances of completing the season were severely undermined. Driven by the arrival of the new variant, ‘non-elite’ football cannot be played until the lockdown is lifted. So it’s unlikely that the leagues could resume competitive matches until early March.”

"The overwhelming feedback from the Tridant Leagues is that they cannot afford to stage competitive football unless they are allowed to admit paying spectators at Phase 2 levels and have access to bar income or other match-day revenues. It is not within any single league Board’s power to simply terminate the season. That decision can only be made by the FA Council, acting on a recommendation by the FA’s Alliance Committee."

As it stands we remain in a situation that we do not control.”


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