Joint statement from The Carlisle Glass Longhorn Youth League, Carlisle City Sunday League, Cumberland County League, Egremont & District Sunday League, Penrith & District Junior Football League, West Cumbria Youth Football League, Workington & District Sunday League and Cumberland Football Associations and their respective leagues.
Following The FA’s statement yesterday, in which it was decided that all grassroots football would be concluded for the 2019/20 season, all of the respective leagues within the county have today met (virtually) to discuss the announcement and what this means for the grassroots game within Cumberland.
Whilst all parties had hoped that football would re-start and allow all to complete their respective leagues and divisions in full, it has become increasingly clear, with time, that this was not going to be the case, as the severity of the pandemic and the impact it would have on our lives became more and more clear.
Yesterday’s decision by The FA provided a definitive decision and whilst all leagues and The CFA were disappointed and recognised the obvious emotional connotations this would have on our members and participants, it was also appreciated that the primary concern, at this time, is the safety and welfare of clubs, players, officials, volunteers and supporters during these unprecedented times.
In line with the powers of autonomy placed upon the league management committees and CFA a local decision is now to be made to determine how current competitions should be concluded.
All parties understand the gravitas of this decision and are therefore reluctant to rush into reaching a conclusion, having had less than 24 hours to absorb The FA’s Statement. At today’s meeting representatives from all leagues have discussed the two main options, suggested by The FA, at length. The CFA has been asked to seek further guidance and clarity from The FA with regards to some areas and options. This feedback will enable leagues to be able to be in the best position to make an informed decision. Those representatives will also use this time to update and consult with their respective league management committees, ahead of another meeting on Monday morning to make a collective decision around how the season will be concluded in Cumberland and within each league.
As a County FA we recognise that the uncertainty around the league season has led to pressure on league and club officials. Therefore, a decision on how to conclude the 2019/20 season in the most appropriate way needs to be reached quickly. However, it will also need to take into consideration what is believed to be the fairest method on how sporting outcomes for the season will be decided and in keeping with the integrity of the Leagues. This is an incomprehensible decision, but a decision will be made in, what all believe to be, the best interest of the game.
Last night as a County and a Country we came together to recognise the work of the NHS and other frontline, key workers. These are challenging circumstances for all at this moment in time as England Manager, Gareth Southgate, stated in his open letter to fans this week
“For everyone in our country, the primary focus of the present – and the coming months – is undoubtedly to look after our families, support our communities and work together to come through what is clearly the most extreme test that we’ve faced collectively in decades.”
English Football must play its part in following Government Advice and it is hoped that members will recognise that what is needed now is a decision made as quickly as possible around the outcome of the 2019/20 season, to allow us all to concentrate on what is important (Staying home, protecting the NHS and Saving Lives).
View FA Statement 26 March 2020