Start of National League season for Yorkshire clubs is cast into significant doubt

THE start of the National League season has been cast into serious doubt with the news that plans for fans to return to watch live sporting events in England from the start of October will now not go ahead.
The Shay Stadium, home of FC Halifax Town.The Shay Stadium, home of FC Halifax Town.
The Shay Stadium, home of FC Halifax Town.

Cabinet office minister Michael Gove has revealed that proposals for football fans to return to stadiums next month will be ‘paused’.

The decision has been made due to a a rise in coronavirus cases and the UK’s COVID-19 alert level moving to 4, with proposals for more fans to attend matches have been put on hold.

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It came after pilot events in September saw 1,000 people admitted into selected Championship and League One grounds.

FC Halifax Town, York City, Guiseley, Bradford (Park Avenue) and Farsley Celtic had been preparing for the start of the new season and the news that fans will not be allowed back into stadiums will be a particularly bitter blow.

The news will have serious ramifications across football and significant ones for the National League potentially, with many clubs fearful for their futures if fans are not allowed back into stadiums.

The National League will consult with clubs once the government has outlined the latest measures.

A decision is expected at a board meeting on Thursday.

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Gove told BBC Breakfast: "We were looking at a staged programme of more people returning – it wasn’t going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans.

“We’re looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme, but what we do want to do is to make sure that, as and when circumstances allow, get more people back.

"The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors but again it’s in the nature of major sporting events that there’s a lot of mingling."

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