Rossendale Free Press
Leagues put on hold as lockdown kicks in
FOOTBALL clubs throughout the Valley have had their seasons put on hold as the country entered a state of national lockdown earlier this week.
On Monday the Prime Minister made the announcement that the country would be going into its third lockdown and that all non elite football would have to adhere to Covid-19 restrictions.
The FA also made an announcement on their official website saying: “It is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers and facility providers adhere to the Government’s new national Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and we implore everyone to follow these.
“Dialogue will continue with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, leagues, competitions and County Football Associations and we will provide further updates for the 2020-21 Vitality Women’s FA Cup, Buildbase FA Vase and ‘ nonelite’ football when relevant.”
This recent news comes off the back of the Free Press reporting that Bacup Borough would not be playing any of its Christmas fixtures due to the block on clubs being allowed to sell food and beverage at Tier 3.
And this current situation will no doubt cause bigger problems for leagues up and down the country where the majority of clubs have barely managed to play a quarter of their allocated fixtures.
Borough’s captain Michael Gervin outlined the growing sense of rustration among Brent Peters’ players.
“It’s been a really frustrating time for the players over the past few months with the stop start to our campaign,” he said.
“We’ve all stayed focused and continued to train in isolation the best we can, but going into a third lockdown is undoubtedly going to cause further problems and disruption for fixtures.
“The players will continue to follow the instructions of Brent and head coach David Felgate throughout the lockdown, but personally I think the season is doomed unless they’re considering taking it into June or possibly July.”
The captain is staying positive and taking part in regular Zoom chats with the players and this month will be embarking on running 150 miles in aid of raising valuable funds for The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.
“Everybody knows of somebody who has been affected by cancer and possibly somebody who has spent time at Christie’s receiving treatment,” said Gervin.
“I’ve had family members who have received amazing treatment from the staff at Christie’s and this is my way of saying thanks. Not just that, it will give me an opportunity to stay fit and lose a few pounds that I’ve put on whilst we’ve not been playing.”
You can donate to Michael’s challenge by going to https://www. justgiving.com/fundraising/mikegervin
As a result of the restrictions it now means that ‘non-elite’ football in England will include the suspension of fixtures and training across the following with immediate effect: Steps three to six of the National League System, Tiers three to seven of the Women’s Football Pyramid, Regional NLS feeder leagues, Barclays FA WSL Academy League (unless under elite status) FA Girls Regional Talent Clubs (unless under elite status) and also indoor and outdoor youth including adult grassroots football.
It is believed that the North West Counties will be involved in discussions this weekend with the FA to talk about the possible ways forward.