Basford Season Over But FA Youth Cup Match Still On

Basford United’s Northern Premier League season has been cancelled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Steve Chettle’s men sat second behind leaders Mickleover having played nine games before the campaign was put on hold in October following the announcement of a second, and, later in January, a third, UK lockdown.

Games in the FA Trophy followed behind-closed-doors, with the elite competition allowed to resume throughout, but United exited the competition in December after defeat at Peterborough Sports in third round.

No fixtures have been played since.

And with clubs in the Northern, Southern and Isthmian Premier League’s given the vote on how the season should end, including all teams down to step 6, it was heavily agreed that it should be stopped with immediate effect.

In a statement, the FA said: “Our alliance and leagues committees have now considered the large amount of data and information submitted by clubs across the National League System (NLS) Steps 3-6 as part of a survey to gather views on the continuation or conclusion of the 2020-21 league season, in addition to the information set out in the Government’s roadmap recently.

“Submissions were made by 99.1 per cent of clubs at Steps 3 and 4, and 95.8 per cent of clubs at Steps 5 and 6.

“The results of the survey showed that over 76 per cent of all clubs across Steps 3-6 indicated a preference to curtail the 2020-21 league season if it could not be restarted with limited spectator numbers and hospitality before 1 April 2021.

“During this process, taking into account views of clubs and leagues, it was decided that extending the 2020-21 league season beyond the end of May 2021 would not be a viable option.

“This was due to various considerations, including the financial implications for many clubs, player contracts and the extent of the fixture scheduling issues caused by the national lockdown and various postponements which had resulted in there being 81 per cent of matches left to complete for Steps 3 and 4, and 75 per cent at Steps 5 and 6.

“Taking into account the survey results and the ongoing impact of Covid-19, which continues to adversely affect incomes for clubs due to restrictions on both spectators and hospitality, our alliance and leagues committees have reached a consensus that, subject to the approval of FA Council, the 2020-21 league season for Steps 3-6 of the NLS should be curtailed with immediate effect, with no further league matches taking place this season.

“The committees will now present their collective recommendations to the FA Council for ratification.

“It has also been decided that subject to FA Council’s decision regarding the curtailment of the season at Steps 3 to 6, both committees will revisit discussions around a potential restructure at Steps 4-6 of the NLS, which was previously agreed and has been on hold since the 2019-20 season. A further update on this will be provided in due course.”

The Nottinghamshire club have been buoyed, however, by the news that their highly anticipated FA Youth Cup third round tie against West Bromwich Albion u18s will go ahead after all fixtures were halted pending Governmental review last year.

A time and date are to be confirmed, but the FA have announced that all outstanding third round games should be played on or before Saturday 20 March.

After preliminary and qualifying round wins over Alfreton Town, Mickleover and United’s Lutterworth and Lincoln, Josh Law’s underdogs continued to defy all expectations with impressive wins over Port Vale and Grimsby Town to set up the memorable fixture against Premier League Albion at Greenwich Avenue.

*Article provided by Marc Williams (Basford United Correspondent).

*Main image @BasfordUtd Stef Galinski sadly won’t be powering in any more headers for Basford this season.

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