National League North and South Fixtures to Take Place This Weekend Despite Refusal From Clubs

Clubs in the National League North and South will return to playing fixtures this weekend, despite reports of clubs refusing to play.

Fixtures Scheduled to Return In the National League North and South

Tier Six of English Football Has Been on a Two Week Break

Fixtures in the National League North and South are scheduled to return, despite some clubs still refusing to play due to concerns around COVID-19.

The leagues, which comprise of tier six of the English football pyramid, were postponed in mid-January to prevent the virus from spreading within clubs.

Even though the leagues were granted ‘elite’ status by the government, the leagues remain the only divisions in England without a regular testing programme.

Funding Row Ongoing for National League Teams

During the break, discussions over how the clubs in the National League North and South would be funded were raised after another national lockdown meant matches would continue to be played behind closed doors.

Clubs in the divisions were handed three options to determine the future of the season: split a loan between the leagues, apply for private funding, or null and void the season without any concrete plan to finalise league positions.

In the National League North, eight sides had publicly expressed their preference to cancel the season, whilst in the National League South, only four sides had voted in favour of null and void.

As no formal majority was reached by the clubs, the league announced that the season would resume on Saturday, February 6, as any further delay would mean there wasn’t enough space in the calendar to fulfil the fixture list. However, the clubs have asked for the fixtures to only take place if both sides deem it safe enough to do so.

Number of Postponements Blitz National League North and South

Some postponements by clubs has blitzed the upcoming National League North and South fixture list, with at least 17 matches having been cancelled – the majority of postponements linked to COVID-19 concerns.

Four matches in the National League South will take place, with just the two from the National League North set to go ahead. Hemel Hempstead will now host Dorking Wanderers in a rearranged tie, after both of their scheduled fixtures were cancelled.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 problems, some matches have been forced into rescheduling because of already arranged FA Trophy fixtures – six games across the two divisions will not be played because of club’s involvement in the cup competition.

The National League – tier five of the pyramid – has continued as normal whilst tier six paused their fixtures.

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