Isthmian and Southern Leagues restart on hold

The Isthmian League logo
The Isthmian League logo

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The 2020/21 season for clubs in the Northern, Isthmian and Southern Leagues – or Trident Leagues – which cover steps three and four of the English Football Pyramid, remains on hold after a vote on Thursday night.

A statement, released on the Isthmian League website – of which Bracknell Town are members – says a substantial number of the competitions membership voted for a continuation in the pause of fixtures: “The clubs were asked to vote on a proposition that the pause in fixtures be continued with a regular review in light of changes to the Tiers and/or grants becoming available. The total votes cast by the 224 Clubs show a substantial number of Clubs in agreement with the proposition. The matter has been considered today by all concerned and a further statement will be issued in due course.”

The competition had been due to resume on Saturday 12th December but the return of tiers across England following the November lockdown has brought a number of challenges which include a number clubs who would be forced to play behind closed doors due to being in tier 3.

The news, announced on Thursday evening was met with a spectrum of views, including a strong response from Bracknell chairman Kayne Steinborn-Busse who said via his clubs Twitter account: “This statement shows complete and utter contempt to your members, you give no clear vote count and fail to provide any definitive timeframe or route map out of this nightmare.”

Former Slough Town midfielder Scott Davies, currently with Isthmian League Biggleswade Town had a different take, saying: “I’m football obsessed but if the league gets paused, which it looks as though it’s, then let’s not get bitter. It’s been a terrible year for thousands of families, and as much as it pains me to say it, there’s more to life than kicking a ball into a net. A little perspective.

“It’s not rocket science, you can’t have crowds in Tier 3. There’s no funding to help Tier 3 clubs out and I don’t believe there should be either. If they’ve got players on £500+ a week, then it’s not down to the govt to find the money to pay that. Just restart when all is safe!”

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