Month: February 2021

FA statement on National League System Steps 3-6

“The FA’s Alliance and Leagues Committees have now considered the large amount of data and information submitted by clubs across the National League System (NLS) Steps 3-6 as part of a survey to gather views on the continuation or conclusion of the 2020-21 league season, in addition to the information set out in the Government’s roadmap this week.

Submissions were made by 99.1% of clubs at Steps 3 and 4, and 95.8% of clubs at Steps 5 and 6. We would like to thank the clubs for submitting their views and the time taken in providing responses during what we appreciate is an incredibly challenging period for everyone.

The results of the survey showed that over 76% of all clubs across Steps 3-6 indicated a preference to curtail the 2020-21 league season if it could not be restarted with limited spectator numbers and hospitality before 1 April 2021.

During this process, taking into account views of clubs and leagues it was decided that extending the 2020-21 league season beyond the end of May 2021 would not be a viable option. This was due to various considerations, including the financial implications for many clubs, player contracts and the extent of the fixture scheduling issues caused by the national lockdown and various postponements which had resulted in there being 81% of matches left to complete for Steps 3 and 4, and 75% at Steps 5 and 6.

Taking into account the survey results and the ongoing impact of Covid-19, which continues to adversely affect incomes for clubs due to restrictions on both spectators and hospitality, The FA’s Alliance and Leagues Committees have reached a consensus that subject to the approval of FA Council, the 2020-21 league season for Steps 3-6 of the NLS should be curtailed with immediate effect, with no further league matches taking place this season.
The Committees will now present their collective recommendations to The FA Council for ratification.

It has also been decided that subject to FA Council’s decision regarding the curtailment of the season at Steps 3 to 6, both committees will revisit discussions around a potential restructure at Steps 4-6 of the NLS, which was previously agreed and has been on hold since the 2019-20 season. A further update on this will be provided in due course.”

Enfield Town supporters will be updated on the impact of this FA statement in due course.

Kick It Out

Kick It Out is English football’s equality and inclusion organisation. Working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change, Kick It Out is at the heart of the fight against discrimination for everyone who plays, watches or works in football.

A small independent charity, the ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football’ campaign was established in 1993 in response to widespread calls from clubs, players and fans to tackle racist attitudes existing within the game. Kick It Out was then established as a body in 1997 as it widened out its objectives to cover all aspects of discrimination, inequality and exclusion.

As part of our commitment to tacking discrimination in all its forms and as a club that seeks to represent all communities in Enfield we have added a link to Kick It Out to our Website.

More information on Kick it Out can be found at

FA National League System: brief update

The FA have written to all clubs at Steps 3 to 6 with a brief update:

“We wish to provide the following update to Clubs in relation to the potential continuation or curtailment of the 2020/21 season at Steps 3 to 6 of the National League System (NLS).

The Alliance Committee (Steps 3 & 4) and Leagues Committee (Steps 5 & 6) met on 8 and 9 February, respectively, to discuss the data that was collated following the recent surveys circulated to Clubs at this level of the game.

During discussions, the Committees acknowledged the likelihood that the Prime Minister will set out a ‘roadmap’ to the nation on 22 February as to how Government intend to begin to reduce the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Given that any such update from the Government on 22 February may provide the Committees with additional, relevant information to help determine the preferred route forward, they have agreed to reconvene after this date.

In addition, the Alliance Committee are also conscious of the ongoing process the National League (Steps 1 & 2) are undertaking and the potential impact this could have on any actions the Committee may choose to take.

We will provide an update in due course.”

On behalf of the Alliance and Leagues Committees

Enfield Town supporters will, as ever, be updated once further information becomes available

Into the Null and Void

Andrew Warshaw’s report in the February edition of Enfield Dispatch on the club’s recent AGM appears below:

Enfield Town FC’s members have voted overwhelmingly to accept a board recommendation to declare the season ‘null and void’.

The vote came in response to a questionnaire from the Isthmian League, with club chair Paul Reed warning of the financial consequences of trying to play on without fans through the turnstiles or any secondary income such as bar sales.

Since the start of the second national lockdown back in November, the Towners have been able to fulfil just one solitary fixture – the fateful FA Trophy defeat against Maldon & Tiptree in December – with a number of Town players instead moving a division higher to play in the second step of the non-league pyramid, where games are still permitted.

Enfield were third in the Isthmian Premier Division when the league campaign ground to a halt in November and, although the option of a mini-season starting in March was still on the table at time of going to press, the more likely outcome remains a second successive voided campaign. It has left the club’s board feeling frustrated, disappointed and realistic in equal measure.

Paul told a well-attended virtual AGM last month: “No-one wants to watch games more than I do, but this is the situation we find ourselves in as a board. It’s not a position any of us want to be in.

“We have to balance the short-term desire of all of us to play football versus the longer-term financial stability. Trying to play now and force the issue with not as much income means we run the risk of not having sufficient funds to put together a competitive side next season.

“If were forced to play within a condensed period, we could minimise losses by further cutting the budget next season, but that could potentially mean failing to compete in the way we would like.”

Paul’s comments drew widespread support from those attending the meeting via Zoom, with 94% backing the decision to bring an early end to the season.

Paul continued: “We’ve had to face a whole new world of operations and finances that we didn’t even know existed 12 months ago. We have seen our secondary income heavily reduced.

“There has been no clarity on government funding to step three clubs [such as Enfield Town]. We believe the vast majority of the money talked about will come in the form of loans, so whatever we can take we’d have to pay back.

“There are no assurances of promotion and relegation either, so what would we be playing for?”

On a brighter note, Paul praised fans for their generosity and understanding during the toughest period in the club’s recent history.

“By far the biggest positive of the last 12 months has been our people; the financial support from our members, the work from our volunteers, in really trying conditions.”

The meeting also saw the election to the board of this correspondent, as a numerical replacement for the outgoing Ken Brazier, who received a well-deserved accolade for his tireless dedication over the past seven years.

As a passionate fan, I decided to put my own name forward in order to help maintain the club’s standing in the community, widen its appeal as the country’s first supporter-owned club, and enhance its exposure on and off the field – in whatever way I can.