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Football season to be curtailed for Grantham Town and Harrowby United

The 2020-21 football season for two local clubs has been curtailed, with no further league matches to take place.

On Wednesday evening, the FA confirmed that Steps 3 to 6 of the football pyramid, which includes both Grantham Town and Harrowby United, would be curtailed with immediate effect, subject to the approval of the FA Council.

The decision was made after the FA’s Alliance and Leagues Committees had considered the large amount of data submitted by clubs across the National League System (NLS) as part of a survey that sought to gather views on the how to resolve the 2020-21 league season, with the Government roadmap, announced on Monday, also taken into account.

Grantham have not played a match since December, while Harrowby have not played since October. (43512810)
Grantham have not played a match since December, while Harrowby have not played since October. (43512810)

The survey was undertaken by 99.1 per cent of clubs at Steps 3 and 4, and 95.8 per cent of clubs at Steps 5 and 6.

A statement from the FA said: “We would like to thank the clubs for submitting their views and the time taken in providing responses during what we appreciate is an incredibly challenging period for everyone.

“The results of the survey showed that over 76 per cent of all clubs across Steps 3 to 6 indicated a preference to curtail the 2020-21 league season if it could not be restarted with limited spectator numbers and hospitality before 1 April 2021.

“During this process, taking into account views of clubs and leagues, it was decided that extending the 2020-21 league season beyond the end of May 2021 would not be a viable option.

“This was due to various considerations, including the financial implications for many clubs, player contracts and the extent of the fixture scheduling issues caused by the national lockdown and various postponements which had resulted in there being 81 per cent of matches left to complete for Steps 3 and 4, and 75 per cent at Steps 5 and 6.

“The committees will now present their collective recommendations to The FA Council for ratification.”

Darren Ashton, chairman of Grantham Town, said: “A curtailment to the season is the decision we were expecting to happen, but it still needs to be ratified by the FA Council.

“They haven’t declared the season null and void, like the 2019/20 season. We’re obviously wanting to get back to competitive football, with the turnstiles open, the bar full, fans on the terraces, being able to travel to away matches and having a good time.

“The Supporters Club have been fantastic, they’re keeping the lottery going and are primed ready for action as soon as we know when we’re going to start again.”

Michael Atter, chairman of Harrowby United, also expected this decision. He said: “It’s a decision we expected, the longer it’s gone on.

“It’s not a surprise. It’s unfortunate, because we’d had a good start to the season. We were sat fourth when the league got suspended back in October.

“It’s one of those things. Everyone’s in the same boat, there’s not a lot you can

Michael confirmed that the team would restart training following the restrictions lifting on outdoor sport on March

He added: “They’ll be ready to go again at the start of the season in August.”

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