Following a meeting of the Directors and Management Committee of The North West Counties Football League the decision has been taken to continue to play matches on Saturday 14th March, subject to clubs being in a position to stage the games.
The priority should be the safety of all staff members, players, match officials and spectators ahead of any game being played.
The Board has considered the Government's approach to the Coronavirus outbreak that was announced yesterday, with the United Kingdom moving out of the ‘Containment’ phase and into the ‘Delay’ phase, but stopped short of banning sporting events at this stage.
After consultation with the Board, Management Committee, Officers and several Clubs, we have therefore agreed to strengthen our guidance to clubs and spectators as follows:
The North West Counties Football League strongly advises that those in high risk groups, as defined by Public Health England, no longer attend matches for the foreseeable future.
The North West Counties Football League strongly advises that matches with projected attendances of over 500 spectators should not take place.
Clubs are being asked to increase hygiene provisions at all grounds for staff, players, match officials and spectators and to display Public Health England posters at all games.
We are aware of the fragile financial state of some Member Clubs and their reliance on income from home matches. We encourage Clubs to consider their Club's ongoing viability when cancelling matches and advise, where possible, that arrangements are made to re-arrange such games.
The League Management Committee will support any club requesting a postponement, although we would expect both clubs to act in a responsible manner and mutually agree.
There will no doubt be difficult times ahead and the League Management Committee will consider all options, but will be led by guidance from The Football Association. The Board will meet again on Monday 16th March to review this position.
We also advise a notice be placed outside the turnstiles/paybox, that spectators should not enter the ground if they have returned from an infective country, have a dry cough, high temperature, headache and/or aching limbs. If they need any further information they should phone 111, as per Public Health England guidelines.
John Deal, Secretary
The North West Counties Football League