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By Jonathan Eeles
19 December 2020
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The Pitching In Northern Premier League have this evening issued a lengthy statement regarding the resumption of fixtures over the festive period - the full statement can be viewed here

Our fixtures on Boxing Day and New Years Days are now optional and both teams need to mutually agree to play them, for clarity and the avoidance of doubt the Club has taken the decision not to play either fixture.

The reasoning behind this is simple

  • Solidarity - the overwhelming wishes of most Clubs at this level is that football without running a Bar or Tea hut would mean operating at a loss. Neither are permitted at Tiers 2 or 3 without express permission from the Local Authority
  • Spectators - despite the news last week, the Club were issued with a joint letter from Staffs County Council and Staffordshire Police stating that whilst Staffordshire was in Tier 3 spectators would not be permitted at league games, other teams in Staffordshire were issued the same letter
  • Government Statement - announcements today regarding a new variant of the virus, introduction of Tier 4 as a level and a change to the Christmas relaxation rules

Jon Eeles Chairman stated "This week has been another difficult one for the Club and Country as a whole. The landscape has been changing daily and it has been virtually impossible to make decisions regarding the Football Club, and the planning of future fixtures. I am pleased that the NPL have reviewed their stance and these fixtures are now optional, and we are aligned with the other Trident Leagues."

"I have taken the decision not to play as I believe it is the only thing to do, given the set of circumstances the Club faces. I hope that during this period the guidance is reviewed as currently it is disjointed, ambiguous and make operating a Club unviable. I know that the news will not be welcomed by all connected with the Club and supporters may be disappointed but I stand by this decision."

"They say a week is a long time in politics, I think the same can also be said for Football"

The Club and its officials would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone associated with the Club with their unwavering support during these difficult times.

Stay Safe, have a Happy Christmas and lets hope for a more positive 2021.


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