Ipswich Town's Portman Road will not host adult Suffolk FA 2019/20 county cups finals but they will be concluded while youth competitions terminated
Suffolk FA have announced how they intend to proceed with their outstanding 2019/20 county cup competitions which had to be suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak in March.
It will involve playing out the adult competitions to a conclusion with a final away from Ipswich Town's Portman Road – with the League One club starting their 2020/21 season in September – but scrapping the junior ones, after careful consideration, including at under-18s.
It means Bury Town, Stowmarket Town and Needham Market, who were all left remaining in the Premier Cup along with Lowestoft Town, will get the chance to add some silverware to a 2019/20 campaign that has otherwise been scratched from the records.
But although it had been proposed by Suffolk FA to look at playing the outstanding ties within club's pre-seasons, it has now been revealed they will not take place until crowds are allowed to return, suggesting they will have to be fitted into the new campaign, which will already be a month delayed.
Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal said that playing at least the final in each competition in front of spectators is an important element to the experience for all concerned, therefore the finals will only be held once spectators are allowed into grounds. The finals are set to be held at neutral local grounds, which are set to be decided upon by the location of the finalists.
Arrangements for semi-finals is set to be decided on a competition-by-competition basis.
A statement said: "Suffolk FA will shortly be in touch with all teams to arrange semi-final and final dates and venues."
It also revealed Suffolk FA plans to run a full programme of adult and youth county cup competitions during the 2020/21 season, except the Youth Plate competitions, which were introduced last season.
"The Plate competitions have been suspended for a season to ease the pressure on league season schedules," the statement said.
Suffolk FA chief executive Richard Neal said the outstanding youth ties have been terminated after careful consideration and with a heavy heart.
“We wanted so desperately to conclude all county cup competitions, but during Cup Panel discussions it quickly became clear that the additional factors in concluding the youth competitions would make them too difficult to play," he said.
“With most of the competitions having at least one semi-final remaining to play, with two still at the quarter-final stage, the proximity of the start of already-congested league seasons, school summer holidays, player eligibility and changing formats though age-groups made this toughest of decisions necessary.
“My heart goes out to those youth team players and coaching staff who had made it to the latter stages of each competition. I also wish to extend my sincere thanks to Crown Imperial for their partnership during the past three seasons.
“For adult competitions, we look forward to concluding these and starting the season with some excellent matches which have silverware at stake.”