Isthmian League have no plans for late-season cup competition

The Isthmian League says it won't organise a cup competition to give teams some competitive games after the curtailment of the league season.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 8:26 am
Updated Monday, 1st March 2021, 8:28 am
Bognor and Horsham are among Isthmian League clubs waiting to see what, if any, football will be played before the start of next season / Picture: Lyn Phillips
Bognor and Horsham are among Isthmian League clubs waiting to see what, if any, football will be played before the start of next season / Picture: Lyn Phillips

After last week's decision by the FA that league fixtures for step three to six clubs won't resume there has been plenty of talk of whether there will be any games for clubs to play before the start of next season.

But league vice chairman Craig Johnson told the Non League Paper: “We’ve decided we would not be running a league cup type of event."

That leaves some kind of friendly mini league - which would have to be approved by the FA - as the only option for clubs who are keen to get their players back into something like competitive action before pre-season for the new campaign.

As ever, the news sparked plenty of debate, with some defending the league's decision and others accusing the Isthmian League of not wanting to play football.

Lewes chairman Stuart Fuller defended the league on Twitter saying: "The leagues would love to play football but not in a way that puts any club in financial distress. If clubs could have fans back in April then it would be a different story, but that’s not possible according to the Government.

"So easy to criticise the leagues but perhaps ask the clubs who would have to still fund their squads with zero income whether they would want to play in two months time? Teams can’t train together until 29 March and will need weeks to get match fit.

"A majority of clubs at Steps 3 and 4 voted to end the season, not the leagues. I’m sure some clubs will get together and play games but they also need to be sanctioned by the FA."

Bromley and Cray Wanderers fan Colin Head asked: "Do the Isthmian League actually want to play football anymore?"

Crawley Town supporter Stephen Dimmock said: "I reckon clubs will probably just arrange their own friendlies and mini leagues/cups (as that will surely help out their coffers once spectators are allowed in again."