THERE will be no more local football this season as the FA have ruled an end to the 2019-2020 season.
The Football Association will be working with County FAs in the coming days to determine how they will bring their various leagues to a conclusion.
Local teams were facing a backlog of fixtures after weeks of wet weather leading to many postponements across the divisions before the coronavirus crisis led to a suspension of the leagues.
This is the statement issued by the FA this afternoon:
“We have been working collaboratively with the National League System (NLS), the women’s football pyramid and the wider grassroots game since the outbreak of COVID-19 on how to conclude the 2019-20 season in the most appropriate way possible.
“These are challenging circumstances for English football and all decisions taken are in the best interests of the game and in consultation across key stakeholders. Our primary concern will always be for the safety and welfare of clubs, players, staff, officials, volunteers and supporters during this unprecedented time.
“Today’s steps take into account the financial impact during this uncertain period, whilst considering the fairest method on how the sporting outcomes for the season will be decided with the integrity of the leagues in mind.
“We can now confirm that we have decided that all grassroots football is concluded for the 2019-20 season. This will allow the game to move forward and to commence planning for next season. Our County Football Associations (CFAs) will be supporting grassroots leagues over the coming days to determine how they should close out their current competitions.”
Lyme Regis FC’s two main teams compete in the Devon & Exeter League who have yet to make a statement on this afternoon’s news. Lyme’s third X1, the Rovers, play in the Perry Street League, as do Uplyme and Charmouth.
Lyme Regis 1st team was lying in fifth place, where they finished last season, in the Premier Division and Lyme Reserves were in sixth place in Division Three. Charmouth and Uplyme are sitting at the foot of Perry Street Division One and were probably heading for relegation. Lyme Rovers were in third place in Perry Street Division Two with a very good chance of promotion.
The Rovers have also won a place in the semi-final of the Tommy Tabberer Cup, a competition they would love to win because it was given in memory of one of the Lyme club’s most talented player who was tragically killed in a road accident in the early 1960s.
Howard Larcombe, chairman of Lyme Regis Football Club, issued the following statement this evening:
“I know I speak on behalf of the whole club when I say we are disappointed, but not overly surprised, that the Football Association has brought an end to the current season for grassroots football clubs.
“Our overall health and well being is far too important to take lightly in the face of the devastating Covid -19 virus.
“From a football angle, things were shaping up nicely. The first team, currently lying fifth in the Premier Division, were still in with a shout of a best ever finish in their sixth season in the Macron Devon & Exeter League.
“After a difficult opening third of the season, the Reserves were improving nicely, having collected 10 points from their last four matches to ease up to sixth spot in Division Three.
“Over in the Perry Street & District League the Rovers were having a great time and were looking like real contenders to clinch back-to-back promotions and a place up in Division One perched third in the table with games in-hand on the top two.
“Our third string had also reached the semi-final of our own Tommy Tabberer Cup – a competition the club has only won once in it’s 58-year history.
“Off the field ,the club is in good shape. The lack of game days will certainly have an impact on the club’s finances. Having recently installed a 63-capacity grandstand, which is just awaiting the laying of an access path before being officially completed, we look forward to this being filled with Seasiders supporters once again before too long. ”