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An update on Steps 3-6 of the NLS

An update on Steps 3-6 of the NLS

By Stephen Denny
24 February
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Press Release


Press Release [s]
The FA’s Alliance and Leagues Committees have now considered the large amount of data
and information submitted by clubs across the National League System (NLS) Steps 3-6 as
part of a survey to gather views on the continuation or conclusion of the 2020-21 league
season, in addition to the information set out in the Government’s roadmap this week.
Submissions were made by 99.1% of clubs at Steps 3 and 4, and 95.8% of clubs at Steps 5
and 6. 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% of all clubs across Steps 3-6 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% of matches left
to complete for Steps 3 and 4, and 75% at Steps 5 and 6.
Taking into account the survey results and the ongoing impact of Covid-19, which continues
to adversely affect incomes for clubs due to restrictions on both spectators and hospitality,
The FA’s Alliance and Leagues Committees have reached a consensus that subject to the
approval of FA Council, the 2020-21 league season for Steps 3-6 of the NLS should be
curtailed with immediate effect, with no further league matches taking place this season.
The Committees will now present their collective recommendations to The FA Council for
ratification.
It has also been decided that subject to FA Council’s decision regarding the curtailment of
the season at Steps 3 to 6, both committees will revisit discussions around a potential
restructure at Steps 4-6 of the NLS, which was previously agreed and has been on hold
since the 2019-20 season. A further update on this will be provided in due course.
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