Southern League to restart on December 12 with no season extension while government steps in with emergency non-league funding package
Lieston, Lowestoft and Needham Market's Pitching In Southern League is due to restart on Saturday, December 12, pending the required government approval coming through.
But like the Isthmian League announcement yesterday, clubs will be allowed to arrange matches from December 5, if they wish to start earlier than the mandatory date.
Unlike the Isthmian League and the Thurlow Nunn League, there is not currently a plan for a season extension to catch up on the fixtures lost to the lockdown suspension though.
A statement put on the Southern League's website read: "Having taken into consideration the answers to the questionnaire sent to clubs regarding the restart date, the Pitching In Southern Football League will officially restart on Saturday, 12th December 2020, as voted for by 59 per cent of clubs, provided that the second lockdown finishes on 2nd December 2020 as planned.
"If not, the league may need to look again at the situation. However, should any club wish to restart on either Saturday 5th December or the following midweek or, indeed, play matches on both dates, the league would have no objection.
"The season will restart based on the four divisions and the fixtures already scheduled or being re-scheduled by the league.
"The league is looking to re-arrange as many matches postponed during the lockdown period that would have experienced excessive travel times for a Saturday later in the season.
"The league season is still scheduled to finish on Saturday 8th May, with play-off semi-finals on Tuesday, 11th May and play-off finals on Saturday, 15th or Sunday, 16th May."
The season restart date of December 12 would see the following fixtures mark the return for our sides:
- Leiston (21st): Home to Stourbridge (7th)
- Lowestoft Town (14th): Away to Bromsgrove Sporting (19th)
- Needham Market (2nd): Away to Barwell (22nd)
All leagues at Step 3 and below are currently suspended under the national restrictions, which are due to be lifted on Wednesday, December 2, subject to government approval.
It comes as non-league clubs have been boosted by today by the news that the government is to provide £28 million of emergency funding to it and the women's game.
It will be split as follows:
- £11 million to the National League (Steps 1 and 2)
- £14 million to Steps 3-6
- £3 million to the Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship