On Thursday August 6th the 1st XI started their pre season friendlies with a game aginst the Reserves which they won 4 – 0 in the end with all four goals scored in the second half with JIMMY WYKES 3 and JOHN McKIE on the scoresheet.

Unfortunately due to the current pandemic as the letter received from THE F A we are not allowed to have any spectators in the ground for any games. Hopefully by the time the FA Cup and League games begin on Spetember 1st and 5th respectively this will have changed. We will keep you infored as and when we know.

Below is the information received from the FA:-

Tuesday 4th August 2020
Via Email
To: All Step 1-6 National League System Leagues & Clubs
All Regional NLS Feeder Leagues & Clubs
Dear Secretary,
We are writing to you today to provide some further clarity around the current position on
Spectators at pre-season matches. The guidance released by The FA on Saturday, 18th July
was clear that all friendlies with National League System Clubs should be played behind
closed doors. This has not changed. Whilst it is difficult to restrict spectators at a grassroots
football fixture on a public recreation ground, this spectator guidance relates to low level
numbers such as parents at a youth fixture in discrete six person gatherings and spread out.
Over the weekend, as clubs returned to pre-season competitive fixtures, we understand
some fixtures were played with spectators and, in a small number of cases, with a crowd in
excess of 100. The guidance regarding gatherings is a clear Government issued position and
as such we must re-emphasise that ALL National League System pre-season fixtures should
be played behind closed doors.
Due to evidence received over this weekend we now need to extend behind closed
doors to Regional NLS Feeder League Clubs (Step 7) and this will also apply to preseason matches played in an NLS or Regional NLS Feeder League ground including, for
example, County FA or League Cup Finals.
Some Clubs and Leagues have also asked for further clarity on a couple of specific areas and
we hope the following will be of use.
– ALL friendlies involving Step 1 to Regional NLS Feeder Leagues Clubs should be played
behind closed doors, until further notice.
– ALL pre-season or other matches held at Step 1 to Regional NLS Feeder League
grounds, including, for example, all County FA and League Cup Finals, should be played
behind closed doors, until further notice.
– Clubs can operate their Clubhouses in accordance with Government hospitality
guidance – but there should be no entry to the ground for spectators. Spectator and
Hospitality guidance is covered separately by Government.
– Friendlies or other matches can have others not involved ‘on the pitch’ in the ground
and this can provide for essential Club Officials only or, where an under 18 is playing in
the fixture, a parent or guardian to fulfil safeguarding requirements. All must observe
social distancing.
The FA resubmitted a proposal for spectators at National League System & Women’s
Pyramid games to DCMS. You will be aware that Government suspended the test events for
the return of spectators under Stage 5 of the Elite Sport Protocols, which much of the NLS
does not fall under. As such, we are continuing our dialogue with DCMS separately to the
Stage 5 pilot project. The suspension however of the Pilot Events which had low spectator
numbers shows that Government are sensitive to crowds of all sizes and as such, crowds at
pre-season matches does put the longer term supporter strategies at risk.
We are working continuously with the Sports Ground Safety Authority, DCMS, Leagues and
colleagues within The FA to bring ultimate guidance for Spectator to return as soon as
possible. We are still hopeful of meeting the timescale outlined in our initial guidance, but
we do need to do so with the approval or support from Government and therefore during
this time ask for your support.
We will write again as and when we have further DCMS clarification.
Kind Regards,
Laurence C Jones
Head of National League System
Cc: All County FA’s