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FA provides Step 5 and 6 leagues with a number of models for 2020/21 season

The Football Association has provided a number of potential models for the 2020/21 season to Step 5 and 6 leagues during a virtual meeting this afternoon.

All non-league football halted in mid-March due to Covid-19, with all leagues from Steps 3-7 having their 2019/20 campaigns declared null and void and subsequently expunged from the record books.

The upcoming campaign was set to get under way in early August, but in the current climate that appears to be unlikely and it is our understanding the FA shared a number of possible scenarios for starts in September, October, November, December and January.

Step 5 and 6 leagues had discussions with the FA today
Step 5 and 6 leagues had discussions with the FA today

The later the start – which will be determined by advice from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – the more likely it is divisions will be impacted in terms of number of matches it is possible to play and cup competitions.

In addition, we have learned the FA Cup's first and third rounds have contracted dates in which they must be played.

The first round is traditionally played in November and the third round two months later in early January and if those remain unmoved, it looks like Step 5 and 6 leagues would need to get under way in September to stand a realistic chance of their sides entering the competition, given that there are six rounds between the extra preliminary and round one.