Banbury United’s friendly off as season pause continues


Clubs in Southern League vote not to resume games as viability under tier system is questioned

Banbury United’s planned friendly against Daventry Town this weekend has been cancelled after member clubs in the Southern League voted to continue the pause in the current season.   The decision was taken after clubs raised concerns over the restrictions the current COVID tier system places on them.

The Puritans have been unable to play league games throughout the lockdown period.   Supporters were keenly anticipating the resumption of games with the friendly this weekend set up as a warmup ahead of Banbury’s first league game since lockdown next Saturday.

However, when the full details of the restrictions that would be in place became know, the viability of resuming matches was put into question.

Earlier this week Banbury United issued a statement saying: “There are eight teams in the Southern League Premier Central Division who are in Tier 3 and under the current restrictions travel in/out of Tier 3 areas is not permitted nor are supporters for matches, i.e. these clubs have to play home games behind closed doors.

“Ourselves and the rest of the teams in the league are in Tier 2 and one of the restrictions here is that alcohol can only be served as part of a substantial meal. There is no information about any variance on this for takeaway service for food or drink. This would severely impact our matchday secondary spend.”

On Thursday evening clubs in the southern league met and considered these and other points and voted to continue pausing the season for the time being.

A statement issued by the Southern League said: “The Clubs in membership of the Northern Premier, Southern and Isthmian Leagues (the Trident Leagues) met earlier this week to consider the challenges and issues brought about by the reintroduction of Tiers after the raising of the nationwide lockdown with effect from yesterday.

“The clubs were asked to vote on a proposition that the pause in fixtures be continued with a regular review in light of changes to the Tiers and/or grants becoming available. The first review to be no later than 16th December. The total votes cast by the 224 Clubs show a substantial number of Clubs in agreement with the proposition.”

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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