Last night we became aware of a lengthy thread on social media speculating about when we might be able to restart the Isthmian League. This discussion stemmed from a football journalist quoting from a 'letter' which the League has sent to clubs, and particularly highlighted the line, "we're all seriously hoping we will be able to get back to competitive football in October." We thought it might be useful, before this story takes on a life of its own, to clarify exactly what we know about the longed for return of our Non League game.
The 'letter' is in fact just one of the regular Newsletters sent to all clubs by our Chairman, Nick Robinson, and covers a wide range of issues. He- and we- very much hope that we will be back on the pitch this year, and there is some reason for optimism that we will return sooner rather than later, but there are many factors which will govern that and they are all outside our control. The key word in the sentence quoted is "hoping"- for all of Nick's discussions with the FA, and there have been many, we really don't have any certainty yet. What we do know is that the League programme will not start behind closed doors.
Decisions on the return of our game will be made by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. We've been led to believe that they'll make them soon, but we are entirely at their mercy. The FA will then take the information provided by Government and present it to the League in a format which will be workable for us and our member clubs, and at that point we will share it with everyone involved so that we can all get on with planning our comeback.
We know that you are all very much looking forward to returning to the touchline, to watch a version of the game where players are unlikely to be called offside due to an unruly eyelash, and where you can socialise with your friends- albeit perhaps from an appropriate distance. We very much want that too, and can promise that, as soon as we have some news for you, good or bad, we will publish it here.
We hope that you are all in good health. And we hope that we will see you soon!