Below is a brief summary of the meeting hosted by the F A regarding the return of Non-League football.
SUMMARY OF FA MEETING TODAY WITH STEP 5 & 6 LEAGUES:
Firstly the FA produced a series of slides for their presentation which they have said will be emailed
out later today. The meeting obviously went into more details than the slides and each league was
able to ask a question.
Summarising the main points:
Even if a league at a higher step has a vacancy caused by a club folding or requesting voluntary
relegation, NO Promotion will occur and that league will run short.
The FA will look at applications to enter the pyramid to fill a vacancy (AFC Bury and Isle of Mann
were only ones mentioned).
The FA National Game have had a 38% cut in funding. This will impact all NLS leagues who will no
longer receive FA Development funding, but they will still receive Administration grants at current
FA Vase prize money will be reduced by approximately 6%
It is the FA’s ambition still to run the FA Cup & FA Vase in full, BUT that may not be possible and
certainly with the FA Cup they are contractually bound to have the FA Cup 3rd Rd on the opening
weekend of January, so the dates and numbers of earlier rounds may be affected by that.
The non-league final day at Wembley is subject to the FA calendar given that Euro 2020 matches
now have to fit into 2021.
Consideration is being given to do away with Replays in both Cup & Vase to aid fitting in league
If the season does not start in August then League and County Cups cannot be run in the traditional
formats during the league playing season, but possible that new ways could be found to run Cups.
RESTARTING NLS FOOTBALL
The FA stated that NLS will only re-start when the Department of Media, Culture & Sport (DMCS) gives
approval AND subject to any conditions that the DCMS makes.
Games cannot re-start at Steps 1 to 7 of the NLS without spectators, AND ALL STEPS ARE TIED
TOGETHER on a restart date (eg Step 6 cannot start whilst Step 3 is not allowed and vice versa)
Football BELOW Step 7 where no admission is taken may start on a different date and is subject to
specific “grass-roots” Govt guidance.
The FA are working on various scenarios as to when and how it affects the programme of games, this
was explained as:
August – A normal season
September/October – Full League seasons to be priority with NO League or County Cups
November/January – Not possible for a full league season to be played and in this situation either
half seasons (play each other once) or splitting divisions in half (probably on a geographic basis) so that in our case we have 4 divisions of 10 rather than 2 of 20
Later than January – Worse case scenario with re-structure and leagues maybe held over again until
Whilst NOT a commitment or guarantee by any means, the FA said the most likely current scenario
would be September.
Pre-Season – The FA stated a pre-season would occur before commencement of matches, but they
were not prepared to say what duration in weeks that timeframe would be.
End of season – Flexibility to go into May rather than the last weekend of April, but again this would
really depend on the starting date of the season.
Possible agreement prior to restarting so that if a 2nd spike forced another curtailment of next
season, that the leagues could be awarded based on the percentage of games actually played at that
time – details to follow.
The FA will require ALL CLUBS to produce and publish a Risk assessment and/or action plans to
ensure they are Covid secure. This is specifically for clubs that are neither “elite” nor “grassroots”
and will cover such things as:
Return to full training / matches
Use of facilities including clubhouses, dressing rooms etc
The volunteer workforce at each club
The FA are currently writing a guidance paper on this and it will follow to clubs in the near future.
Ground Grading: The FA have built into the temporary changes to regulations some flexibility
regarding ground grading dates, whilst no specific date or rule has been changed, the FA stated that
it is “Not the intention to relegate any clubs for work that Covid has meant they have been unable to