The vote later today by the UK Government on the proposed national lockdown in England and the publication of bespoke guidance from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport [DCMS], will inevitably result in the expected impact on ‘non elite’ football in the National Pyramid which will include the suspension of all fixtures and training for Steps 3-6 of the National League System throughout November.
The FA's stated aim is to ensure that the 2020-21 season is completed at these levels and they will liaise with the relevant leagues in the NLS to provide support and establish appropriate options to do so if required.
In addition, the UK Government has confirmed that all Emirates FA Cup First Round fixtures will go ahead as planned this weekend between Friday 6 and Monday 9 November 2020 and all ten ‘non-elite’ clubs that remain in the competition will be able to train together and play their fixtures under ‘elite’ protocols.
Re-starting football at this level has taken substantial determination and commitment from stakeholders across the game and their contributions have been vital. However, health and wellbeing remain the priority.
It remains to be seen whether a further reduction in the crowd capacity will be implemented after the lockdown ends or indeed if all games will be required to be played behind closed doors, which would be a potential disaster for Clubs at Step 3 and 4.