Greens chairman calls to end season in hope of fresh summer start

Wisbech vs Soham friendly

Soham Town Rangers last played a game in December, and their most recent league game was on October 31. - Credit: Ian Carter

Soham Town Rangers chairman Mark Goldsack has no doubt the current campaign should end now, but remains cautious on his hopes of an “uninterrupted season” next time. 

The Greens are waiting on whether they can continue their Isthmian League North Division campaign after clubs between steps three and six of the non-league pyramid were asked by the FA if they want to curtail the 2020-21 season. 

Goldsack has been wary of a return to action before a third national lockdown was enforced, but with 31 league games still to play, he feels there are too many implications to deal with, both on and off the pitch. 

“On the field, I can see no way they could conclude a season,” he said. 

“Would people come back? I think we’ve lost a lot of our members through fear that they don’t want to come out and maybe catch the virus. 

“I’ve got a lot of sympathy for the league committee trying to make heads or tails of this because they’re all voluntary, and I think they’ve come in for unnecessary criticism.” 

Goldsack is keen to get back to action as soon as it is safe, and has written to the Isthmian League on the idea of playing in a regionalised league from spring. 

Soham Town Rangers chairman Mark Goldsack

Mark Goldsack, chairman of Soham Town Rangers FC, believes ending the season early is the best thing to do and is hoping for a fresh start in August. - Credit: Archant

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But with the club unable to offer their usual bar service, a key revenue stream for lower non-league clubs, playing before August remains uncertain. 

“When’s the most realistic time to play again? At this moment in time, I’d probably say mid to late April,” Goldsack said. 

“But you’re talking about whether we’re still in the situation where we’ve got no secondary income if bars can’t open. Can clubs substantiate a player budget without any income?” 

Soham, whose Julius Martin Lane ground is currently a rapid Covid-19 testing centre, sit seventh in their league. 

For Goldsack and his committee, there are more important matters at hand to think about for now, but with the speed of the vaccine rollout, he is confident of a clean start. 

“I’m hoping for a clean start next year, but I can’t wave that magic wand!” he said. 

“Our priority at the moment is looking after our supporters and community during the pandemic. 

“We’re all here to play football and get enjoyment. The best way to do that is to have an uninterrupted season and I think starting in August is the best way to achieve that.”