United Counties League clubs will resume their seasons if they choose to

There was a '50-50' split between those clubs wishing to restart and those choosing not to

Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 7:12 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 7:16 am
Jake Stone's Wellingborough Town will resume their season in the FA Vase this weekend

The United Counties League will allow clubs who wish to restart their seasons to do so after the new tiered restrictions came into force this week.

Football between Steps 3 and 6 have been given the go ahead to resume, although clubs currently in Tier 3 are unable to have fans inside their grounds for home matches.

The UCL opted to give clubs a vote on whether to restart the season and confirmed the split for those wanting to play and those not wanting to play was “about 50-50”.

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The league’s directors then decided that they would allow clubs who wished to play to do so while all matters will be kept under review ahead of the next government update due on December 16.

Clubs in Tier 2 have been urged to “lobby their local authorities” when it comes to whether they are able to serve hot and cold drinks and food at their matches.

New fixtures for those clubs wishing to continue will be confirmed but this weekend will definitely see Wellingborough Town host Woodbridge Town in the second round of the Buildbase FA Vase while Desborough Town will travel to Quorn in their scheduled Premier Division encounter.

But Burton Park Wanderers, who had reached the second round of the Vase for the first time in their history, have withdrawn from the competition after they had been due to travel to Norwich United this weekend.

Wanderers were also forced to withdraw from the FA Cup earlier in the season.

In a statement, club chairman and covid officer Simon Scarfe said: “The club committee have taken the difficult decision, after being asked by the UCL, to decline to restart games following the lifting of the lockdown measures.

“Whilst sport is allowed to recommence, the conditions are stricter than those imposed previously.

“With teams in our league in Tier 3 areas this creates an additional risk to our players and volunteers.

“It is also unfair to ask Tier 3 teams to host games without being able to have the revenue from supporters.

“For these reasons we have decided to postpone our restart for now, including withdrawing from the FA Vase game.

“We appreciate not everyone will agree with this, but we have a duty of care to everyone at our club and feel we were forced to make this difficult decision to best protect our players, volunteers and fans.”

It is also understood Rothwell Corinthians, in the Premier Division, and Whitworth and Irchester United, in Division One, have opted to restart their seasons, although none of those clubs will be in action this weekend.