The FA have confirmed that Steps 3 to 6 clubs will have to stop whilst the new lockdown measures are in place.
The Government’s legislation, subject to a House of Commons vote on Wednesday, starts on Thursday and is due to finish on Wednesday 2nd December.
The Northern Premier League and Northern Counties East League will pause on Thursday – along with all Step 7 leagues.
The priority turns to ensuring clubs are financially secure for at least the next month. The FA and leagues have had a few weeks to prepare for this lockdown scenario because of the tiered rules so you would have like to think the authorities already have grasp of the kind of financial support required.
The other question is what will happen to the season? Various managers have been saying since the summer that the chances of finishing a 38-league game season were wishful thinking unless there is a change to the end date for the NCEL and NPL campaigns.
That would be the simple solution – although there is logistical issues because of clubs who share with cricket. However, it should be added the North West Counties League is in a state of disaster already because of restrictions. One tea, had yet to play, another has played one and many have only seen league action twice.
Clearly though given that it is only the 2nd November, there is no need to rush into a definite decision into the season. The FA certainly do not need to go down the route of null and void at this stage.