Isthmian League restart: New talks planned before final decision

Isthmian League clubs will have to wait a few more days before knowing whether the action will resume as planned in mid-December.

Sunday, 29th November 2020, 4:40 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th November 2020, 4:44 pm
Horsham and Bognor meet earlier in the season / Picture: Lyn Phillips

Weekend talks between officials of different leagues operating at step three and four of the non-league game - that's the Isthmian premier and south east divisions in this part of the world - ended without an immediate decision being made.

Non-league expert Ollie Bayliss tweeted on Sunday: "Step 3 & 4 clubs will meet on Tuesday evening at 7pm via zoom. The leagues will discuss the implications of the Government’s new tier system. Following the meeting, a vote will be taken on restarting the league."

There are two issues that have stopped leagues pressing ahead with the plan hatched before the November 5-December 2 national lockdown for all games to resume from December 12 or 19.

One is that some areas are in tier three - inlcuding Kent, which has numerous clubs in the Isthmian divisions - where restrictions on travel and group activities are tougher than elsewhere. Another is that even clubs in tier two, although they can admit fans, cannot open bars and clubhouses unless these are food-orientated outlets.

That will hit income for clubs at step three and below - and has given clubs and league bosses, who are otherwise keen to get their seasons back up and running, some tricky decisions to make.

In the meantime games in the FA Vase and FA Trophy are set to resume, with some Vase games pencilled in for next weekend.