Clevedon Town ‘welcome FA proposals’ regarding start of 2020-21 non-league season

Clevedon Town FC's Everyone Active Stadium

Clevedon Town FC's Everyone Active Stadium - Credit: Archant

Clevedon Town have said they’welcome the proposals’ set by the Football Assocation in aiming to restart the non-league football season in September.

The FA met up last Friday with teams in level five and six to discuss their plans for the 2020-21 campaign to ensure all clubs start at the same time.

“We welcome the proposals that emerged from the FA online meeting on Friday,” said a club statement.

“It goes as far as it can in setting out various alternatives for a restart.

“Next, we need the government to decide when and how non-league football can resume, so the details can be worked up and to provide some certainty.

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“Although Clevedon Town have been busily carrying out ground improvements during the lockdown it will still take some time to put new measures in place to meet FA and government guidelines when they are known. We could not contemplate a start without fans.”

Also talked about in the meeting was the funding and a total of 38 oper cent has been cut in the FA National game, with FA Vase prize money being reduced by six per cent.

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The statement added: “We need the income to support the club. With 300 seats and a ground capacity of 2,300 we can easily accommodate last season’s attendances.

“However, we need to be able to operate the bar, the tea bar, the club shop and sell programmes and 50/50 tickets.

“We are happy to produce a Covid-19 risk assessment and action plan to show how that could be achieved.

“However, admitting spectators will itself come with extra costs to ensure everybody is safe. We need to be able to take cash, as we only have one card reader which is in the bar and itself incurs a cost for each transaction.”

But with the Toolstation Western League Premier Division campaign looking to start again in Autumn, the Seasiders are looking forward to play again.

The statement continued: “We think a start in August is probably unrealistic, but if schools are back in September, we see no reason why we could not be back playing non-league football at Toolstation Western League level.

“That is important because we would not want to lose the early rounds of the FA Cup and the FA Vase, for the different competition it gives us, as well as the potential prize money.

“We think that would be possible with a September start if football adopted the approach of rugby and cricket by using September to play all the early rounds of the FA Cup on successive weeks to ensure the key date for broadcasting when EFL sides enter the competition can be hit.

“In that respect we support the cancellation of all minor county and league cup competitions and the extension of the normal season into May which should provide time to catch up with league games.”

Division One outfits Portishead Town and Ashton & Backwell would be similary affected by the FA proposals as step six clubs.

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