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League start delayed until at least 19th September

18th August, 2020

The Toolstation Northern Counties East League have decided to delay the start of the 2020/21 league season by an initial period of two weeks.

It had been hoped that the new campaign could start on Saturday 5th September, 2020, but the decision to postpone it for at least a fortnight follows a conference call with other leagues and The FA on Monday night as well as a club survey that showed that 90% of our teams do not wish to play league matches behind closed doors.

In their latest update, The FA told us they are working with the Government and its Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on a specific plan to allow spectators back into Non League System grounds.

Currently, the FA are waiting on an answer to their latest proposal but such a decision is said to be "imminent".

It is the view of the NCEL Board, along with many other Leagues across the country, that playing football behind closed doors in not financially viable and we should not start our league season until spectators are allowed back into our stadiums.

We asked clubs to complete a survey to gather their views and, with the overwhelming majority agreeing with our standpoint, the league has pushed back the season start date to Saturday 19th September, 2020, at the earliest.

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