Cambs grassroots season could be swapped for 'Champions League'
- Credit: Steve Snell
The grassroots football season across Cambridgeshire could be halted for a second successive year in favour of “Champions League style” cup competitions.
In a statement released today (Friday), the Cambridgeshire County League prefer to finish the 2020-21 campaign early due to the backlog of fixtures caused by the Covid-19 lockdowns.
The statement from the league’s management committee said: “The committee feel it is not viable to complete a full season as the pressure on players to play so many games in a short period is unreasonable along with the number of facilities available.
“The recommendation, therefore, is that the 2020-21 season is declared null and void.”
The announcement comes after the FA said the grassroots football season will be extended into June to provide “additional flexibility and time for leagues to complete their fixtures this season if they wish to do so”.
On Wednesday, the non-league season for clubs between steps three and six was curtailed for the second year in a row having not played at all since mid-December.
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However, the Cambs League offered the alternative of a knockout competition similar to the Champions League through April and May, with the finals being played in June.
The statement continued: “This alternative competition is not mandatory. Clubs have been sent a form to complete to confirm entry.
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“Clubs have been asked to confirm this decision electronically by Friday, March 5. A league EGM will then follow on Monday, March 8 to confirm this and discuss plans for the remainder of the season.”
Despite plans to curtail the season not yet confirmed, clubs have remained dubious about whether playing a more localised format instead of their remaining league fixtures is the right decision.
Kieran Daplyn, manager of March Town ‘A’ who sit top of the Kershaw 2B Division with nine games to play, tweeted: “We have nine games left in our league (that could be) easily completed.”
Writing on Twitter, the Cambs League stressed that: “The decision hasn’t been made null and void; this is a recommendation from the leagues and cups committee.
"Should clubs not wish to accept this recommendation, they can vote accordingly.”
Before the FA allowed to extend the grassroots season, the Peterborough & District Football League said clubs could vote on whether to play each other once using points-per-game at the end, or declare the season null and void.
It is unclear whether the grassroots women's football season will continue from March 29.