I am writing following the three emergency Divisional Meetings that took place earlier this week. These were arranged to find out from clubs their current situation following the ending of the second national lockdown and the new Tier arrangements for England.
The League wishes to express its thanks to all clubs who have been working hard to keep going in these very difficult times.
The League has considered all the points raised by clubs and the decisions we have made about restarting football have been based upon the answers clubs have given us about their wish to restart or not and the date they would be willing to play their first league match.
The overriding principle we have adopted is that clubs do not go out of business and withdraw from the League. The integrity of the League and the clubs in it is the top priority.
The Premier Division will restart on the 12th December with Saturday fixtures, except for those clubs who indicated they could not restart for financial reasons.
There will not be any midweek games until the end of December and then this will be reviewed. However, if some clubs wish to play midweek matches between the 12th and 30th December, they should contact the fixture Secretary Karen Browne to see if fixtures can be arranged.
Saturday fixtures will restart on the 12th December, except for those clubs who indicated they wished to restart on the 19th December.
There will be no midweek fixtures until February 1st 2021.
Saturday fixtures will restart on the 12th December, except for 2 clubs who did not want to start for financial reasons.
These arrangements detailed above will be reviewed immediately following the first and second governmental review of the national Tier system on the 16th and 30th December respectively.
Saturday Kick-Off times
By mutual agreement between clubs matches in the Premier Division and Division 1 can start at 2pm instead of 3pm.
For all divisions, the half-time interval will be reduced to 10 minutes instead of 15 minutes. This is for health and safety reasons recognising that the shorter time players and management spend in a dressing room(s) in a confined space reduces the risk of infection. This also recognises the onset of colder and wetter weather during the winter months and the increasing difficulty of restricting the number of persons in dressing rooms at any one time. This does not replace any measures clubs have included in their risk assessments and match-day procedures for dressing room(s) occupation, but recognises the difficulty of compliance.
Match Officials’ Fees
The League has considered requests by clubs to reduce match fees, but has decided that they will remain as they are.
Covid 19 Compliance
Following representations from clubs, the League has decided to rescind the charges brought against clubs for failure to comply with the technical area directive in early November. The League also decided that in future, where a club was reported for non- compliance and this was proven, a warning letter would be sent. If there was a second case on non-compliance then that club would be charged. The club will of course be able to answer the charge and ask for mitigation to be considered. It is important that clubs continue to stick to their risk assessments, match-day procedures and meeting the League directive on Technical Areas.
If you have any questions or you want clarification on any of the above, please contact me or Tony Weight the Vice-Chairman.