On 7th December the Western League contacted all Clubs about ‘Restarting Football’, with the news that fixtures would recommence on Saturday 19th December. At that time the league recognised that clubs, not only in the Western League, but across the country were unable to play without spectators due to the financial implications. That is why clubs in tier 3 areas were given the option not to play their scheduled matches during December. However that changed when the DCMS gave permission for clubs in tier 3 areas to once again welcome spectators.
The League have received communications from some clubs who are concerned about the safety and welfare of their players and club officials, although some Clubs have expressed their wish to continue to play. The FA, the DCMS and Public Health England have stated that provided clubs follow their risk assessments there is no increased risk to any player, spectator or club official at one of our football matches.
The FA have made it clear that they intend to go ahead with the restructuring of the NLS at the end of the current season and will, if necessary, use points per game to determine promotion and relegation. Therefore, from Saturday 2nd January 2021 the League have taken the following position:
1. Under the current restrictions, any club may now opt not to play. Clubs will need to email the fixtures director with their intention to not play by 30th December 2020. All their matches will then be marked as postponed.
2. Once a club which has declared their intention not to play, decides to commence playing again, then point 3 will come into effect.
3. For those clubs who wish to continue playing, they cannot choose which matches to play and which they will not play.
All Western League fixtures during December which have been agreed and scheduled will continue as planned. This statement reflects the state of information available to the Board at this current time, but our position may change in light of new information received from the FA or Government in the days and weeks ahead.