Non-league football clubs are unsure if they can restart their seasons – after being told clubhouses must operate as RESTAURANTS to sell booze in Tier 2 and shut completely in Tier 3, making playing matches financially unviable
- Levels below the National League can resume their seasons from Wednesday
- England’s regional tiers after lockdown were announced by the government
- Clubs in tier three must play without fans while in tier two sides must shut clubhouses – unless used as restaurants
- Anything bought as takeaway would need to be consumed outside the ground
Levels below the National League are unsure if they will be able to resume their seasons next week due to the strict tier system that will replace the nationwide lockdown in England.
England’s regional tiers were announced by the government on Thursday, with the national lockdown ending on December 2.
The Northern Premier League, Southern League and Isthmian League will meet on Saturday to decide how to restart their seasons.
Levels below the National League are unsure if they will be able to resume their seasons next week
But restrictions on fans and sale of food and drink could make it financial unviable for many clubs to restart.
Clubs in tier three must play without fans while tier two sides must shut their clubhouses – unless they are used as restaurants.
Anything bought as a takeaway would have to be consumed outside the ground.
Many leagues will be operating across different tier boundaries, and despite exemptions being granted for players and club staff to allow matches to take place, there remains uncertainty.
The Northern Premier League, Southern League and Isthmian League will meet on Saturday to decide how to restart their seasons
Prior to the lockdown matches were taking place with a limited number of supporters in attendance.
While the Northern Premier League, Southern League and Isthmian League are hopeful of finding a joint plan, leagues below could push back their planned restart by another fortnight.
By contrast, Premier League clubs will re-open grounds to supporters next week after the Government confirmed which clubs can welcome back fans.
Arsenal’s Europa League clash against Rapid Vienna on Thursday will be the first match including an English top-flight team that will see the return of fans, and Manchester United’s visit to West Ham a week on Saturday will be the first Premier League match to be played with fans since March.
But the re-opening of stadiums comes amid a backdrop of unrest from top-flight clubs about the financial implications of holding games with limited capacities, with losses starting at £500,000 per match.
Clubhouses will have to stay closed unless they can open as restaurants due to restrictions on sales of alcohol
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