Peninsula League plans abandoned

Empty football ground corner with flag and sunset

Peninsula League plans abandoned - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

New Government rules that will keep supporters away from matches has forced the South-West Peninsula Football League to abandon plans to hold end-of-season cup competitions 'with a heavy heart' - even though a big majority of clubs wanted to take part.

Thirty-two of the league's 40 clubs had backed the idea of two localised season-saving cups by this Monday's deadline, ahead of a league board meeting on Wednesday night.

But although many sports will be allowed to resume from March 29, the Government has ruled out fans attending matches until at least the middle of May, as well as extending anti-Covid restrictions on refreshments and hospitality.

The SWPL board issued a statement quoting the news that 'the return of fans is not on the horizon, and the Football Association suggesting May 17 at the earliest (and May 31 for any Step 3/6 club in any cup.'

It added: "Further, the clarification of hospitality from April 12 being ONLY table service in Covid-restricted bubbles means secondary spend from licensed premises would be restricted and not practical whilst games are in progress."

The board believed that clubs would not be able to afford to play matches with no admission or secondary spend revenue, or ask volunteers to police the no-fans policy.

It added: "In the light of the guidance, and with a heavy heart, a motion that we do not run any end of season cups was passed by 12 votes to nil."

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