Grantham Town and Harrowby United react to non-elite football's postponement due to second lockdown
The latest lockdown restrictions mean that both Grantham Town and Harrowby United will not kick a ball for one month at least.
Classed as non-elite level football, alongside all other leagues in the country below the National League, the seasons of both local clubs will be delayed until at least December 2, when the second national lockdown is due to be lifted.
Women’s football will also only continue in an ‘elite’ capacity, with the Women’s Super League and Championship continuing behind closed doors, similar to its male counterparts.
The only ‘non-elite’ teams that are permitted to play during the lockdown are those still competing in the FA Cup.
Training is also not permitted from November 5, as well as all youth and adult grassroots football, both outdoors and inside.
In a statement, the Football Association said: “Our aim is to ensure that the 2020-21 season is completed at [non-elite] levels and will liaise with the relevant leagues in the NLS and WFP and the County Football Associations [CFAs] to provide support and establish appropriate options to do so if required.”
The UK Government has also confirmed that sport within schools can continue as an exemption during the lockdown.
Grantham Town chairman Darren Ashton said: “It’s the news we’d been expecting since the talk of ‘lockdown two’ started on Friday night.
“Of course it’s disappointing news, we were all buoyant after the win on Saturday and we were hope to able to take that into the league.
“Like last time, although it will be tough, we will get through it and we’ll be ready to open the doors as soon as we’re allowed to again.
“We know that during the next month it is going to difficult for some of our supporters, if anyone is struggling and needs someone to speak please message us on social media or through the website.”
Harrowby United chairman Michael Atter said: “I thought sometime in this season there would be breaks. I expected that.
“It’s disappointing because we’d been on such a good run. When you’re playing well, the last thing you want is a break.
“When we do get back, it may be straight back into a game with no training, but every team’s the same, so no one has an advantage.
“The social club shutting will have an impact on us, but I believe it’s for the good.
“Of course, we’d rather be playing Saturday, but it’s out of our hands. All we can do is what we are told. We’ll be ready when we come back.
“My fear would be if there was another one in, say February, and we hit bad weather, the season might be null and voided.
“I just hope long term, we finish the league normally.”