Uhlsport Hellenic League suspend cups and move kick-off times in lockdown response

A Hellenic League football at The Rivermoor, Reading. Photo: Tom Canning
A Hellenic League football at The Rivermoor, Reading. Photo: Tom Canning

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The Uhlsport Hellenic League have issued a number of changes ahead of the competitions resumption on Saturday 12th December after a consultation with member clubs.

The league have revealed, amongst several changes, that the cup competitions run by the league will be suspended and kick-off times will move forward to 2 pm in a bid to avoid the use and expense of floodlights.

The competitions two clubs that fall within tier 3, Slough borough-based Langley and Chalvey Sports have been given a reprieve from fixtures, though they will be able to play each other in back to back league matches.

Other significant changes involve the fixture calendar with Boxing Day matches removed and no midweek matches will be scheduled until the New Year.

The full breakdown of changes:

  • All Leagues – Premier, Division One & Division Two – will start on 12th December 2020 as previously advised, however, no fixtures will be scheduled for Boxing Day and these have been withdrawn from Full-Time and no midweek fixtures will be played before the New Year (except on 28th December with 1400hrs kick-offs)
  • Fixtures will only be played on 12th, 19th, 28th December prior to New Year and then a full programme will be scheduled for 2nd January 2021
  • Clubs in Tier 3 will be suspended from playing unless matches can be scheduled with each other and this will be part of a constant review
  • ALL matches will kick-off at 1400hrs thus negating the need for floodlights with a view to saving costs
  • Division Two and Vets matches could be affected by further announcements about the Return to Grassroots Football due from County FAs – expected this week
  • Hellenic League Cup competition matches will be suspended until it is possible to fixture

Hellenic League chairman Bob Dalling said on the official competition website: “We recognise the Covid situation and the restrictions of Tier 2/3 have placed tremendous pressure on our clubs none the less on Officers, helpers, volunteers and back room assistants, many of whom are not getting any younger and some in the Shielded category. A myriad of directives almost every week from the Government, The FA, The County FA and the League has provided good information and at the same time a real headache to implement and the latest Tier 2/3 restrictions have placed even greater financial issues on our Teams and Clubs.

“You can be assured, the Hellenic League will continue to lobby The FA for assistance. We will also continually review the situation in line with Government and FA guidance and hope that restrictions on the ability to sell refreshments and open bars can be lifted soon to ease the financial burden on clubs. We will look forward to 16th December when the Tier situation will be reviewed and be ready to react to any positive outcome.”

A number of Hellenic League clubs will return to action prior to the 12th, with Binfield, Brimscombe & Thrupp, Royal Wootton Bassett Town, Bishop’s Cleeve and Longlevens all involved in FA Vase action.

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