UPDATED Statement on the re-commencement of football
Earlier this week the Northern Premier League made a statement regarding the re-commencement of football. Regrettably, member clubs were not consulted prior to this statement being issued.
We are aware that a number of clubs have issued their own statements in response to the position adopted by the Northern Premier League.
We have received questions from our own fan base about our own views on re-commencing football but chose to await today’s government announcement on the Covid Tier arrangements before finalising our own views on these matters.
As fans will now know, there are no changes to the Tier arrangements for the overwhelming majority of clubs in the Northern Premier League. Indeed, whilst we have not considered the full detail, we assume that with the addition of a number of areas moving into Tier 3, across the Trident Leagues (Northern Premier League, Southern Premier League and Isthmian League) there are likely to now be more clubs in Tier 3 than there were when a democratic vote was taken to pause the current season.
Whilst the Government and the FA have revised their guidance for the attendance of fans for clubs in Tier 3, the limit is 200 with significant limitations on food and drink sales.
For many clubs, including our own, these limits cause significant concern in regard to the financial viability of club’s being able to successfully operate, stay viable and importantly stay in existence.
As things stand, the Northern Premier League are looking to re-introduce fixtures from this Saturday, which we have declined to do so, as well as impose a mandatory restart of the league from the 26th December, just nine days from now.
At the present time, we do not support the planned restart on the basis proposed. We think it is important that all Member clubs be afforded the opportunity to debate these matters and come to a collective democratic view on the best way forward, which recognises the financial viability of the clubs affected as well as the health and well being of players, fans, volunteers and club staff.
Everyone at Ossett United wants football to return as soon as possible, however this has to be done in a way which protects both our own club and all others operating at our level.
The above statement which was issued yesterday is now supplemented with the following information:
Following our communication yesterday and having still not yet received any communication from the league following the Tier announcement yesterday, we believe the NPL should fall in line with the rest of the trident league and re-pause the current season.
Therefore we would like to formally request the postponement of the following games until a later time when gates can increase or essential secondary spend is allowed.
26/12 v Pontefract Collieries
29/12 v Runcorn Linnets
02/01 v Brighouse Town
Ossett United, Board of Directors