Summary of FA meeting with Step 5 & 6 Leagues:

The FA stated that NLS will only re-start when the Dept of Media, Culture & Sport (DCMS) gives approval AND subject to any conditions that the DCMS makes.


Games cannot re-start at Steps 1 to 7 of the NLS without spectators, AND ALL STEPS ARE TIED TOGETHER on a restart date (eg Step 6 cannot start whilst Step 3 is not allowed and vice versa)


Whilst NOT a commitment or guarantee by any means, the FA said the most likely current scenario would be a September
Pre-Season – The FA stated a pre-season would occur before commencement of matches, but they were not prepared to say what duration in weeks that timeframe would be.
The FA are working on various scenarios as to when and how it affects the programme of games, this was explained as:

August – A normal season


September/October – Full League seasons to be priority with NO League or County Cups


November/January – Not possible for a full league season to be played and in this situation either half seasons (play each other once) or splitting divisions in half (probably on geographics) so that in our case we have 2 divisions of 10 rather than 1 of 20


Later than January – Worse case scenario with re-structure and leagues maybe held over again until 2021/22 season.


End of season – Flexibility to go into May rather than the last weekend of April, but again this would really depend on the starting date of the season.


If a league at a higher step has a vacancy caused by a club folding or requesting voluntary relegation, NO Promotion will occur and that league will run short.


It is the FA’s ambition still to run the FA Cup & FA Vase in full, BUT that may not be possible and certainly with the FA Cup they are contractually bound to have the FA Cup 3rd Rd on the opening weekend of January, so the dates and numbers of earlier rounds may be affected by that.


Consideration is being given to do away with Replays in both FA Cup & FA Vase to aid fitting in league fixtures.


The non-league final day at Wembley is subject to the FA calendar given that Euro 2020 matches now have to fit into 2021.

FA Vase prize money will be reduced by approx 6%


If the season does not start in August then League and County Cups cannot be run in the traditional formats during the league playing season, but possible that new ways could be found to run Cups.


The FA will require ALL CLUBS to produce and publish a Risk assessment and/or action plans to ensure they are Covid secure. This is specifically for clubs that are neither “elite” nor “grassroots” and will cover such things as:

Return to full training / matches

Use of facilities including clubhouses, dressing rooms etc


The volunteer workforce at each club

The FA are currently writing a guidance paper on this and it will follow to clubs in the near future.

Ground Grading: The FA have built into the temporary changes to regulations some flexibility regarding ground grading dates, whilst no specific date or rule has been changed, the FA stated that it is “Not the intention to relegate any clubs for work that Covid has meant they have been unable to do.”


Possible agreement prior to restarting so that if a 2nd spike forced another curtailment of next season, that the leagues could be awarded based on the percentage of games actually played at that time – details to follow.


Football BELOW Step 7 where no admission is taken may start on a different date and is subject to specific “grass-roots” Govt guidance.

Next FA Leagues meeting on July 14th .