Coronavirus Crisis: Isthmian League Statement: The consensus of opinion is that the decision to suspend was the right one and it will be more difficult to rule whether or not the season can be continued

Saturday 14th March 2020

ISTHMIAN LEAGUE chairman Nick Robinson says they are voicing their ongoing concerns to The Football Association as the Coronavirus crisis brought most of English football to a halt.

The Premier League, English Football League and the Isthmian League all decided to suspend their competitions after meeting yesterday, while the Southern Counties East Football League went ahead.

The Isthmian League suspended all of their fixtures that were scheduled today and games this coming midweek for the first time since the Second World War back in 1939.

“Following the suspension of fixtures yesterday the Board of Directors of the League met by video conference at lunchtime today,” Mr Robinson said in a statement.

“There is little doubt that the decision made to suspend was the most critical decision made by this League since the fixtures were suspended in September 1939.

“The consensus of opinion is that the decision to suspend was the right one and it will be more difficult to rule whether or not the season can be continued. Such a decision has to be taken in the light of all existing information.

“The Football Association has convened a conference call for 4pm on Monday to review the events of the weekend and the Government has indicated that it will announce whether to postpone gatherings early next week.

“The Board will therefore convene at 6pm on Monday to decide what date to put on the suspension so that clubs have a clear view of what is happening and can make plans themselves.

“In the meantime, no decisions are being made about the League, about play-off matches or promotion and relegation.

“There is no information at present about financial support from either The FA or Government, but these are all ongoing concerns which we continue to voice.

“The only matter which is clear at present is that contract players need to be paid, unless those players agree not to be paid.

“There is no ban on non-competitive matches, but clubs are asked to bear in mind all facts before making any decisions about the holding of any events.

“It is a matter of regret that we are unable to be more positive at present, but the greater majority of clubs have indicated their understanding of the Board’s position. One or two responses have been less helpful than others and all that can be said is that as soon as rational decisions can be made the Board will make those decisions, however difficult they are.

“In the meantime, the Board hope that all connected with the League remain in good health.”

A National League statement said: "The National League wishes to sincerely thank the fans, players, officials, staff, volunteers and sponsors who have arranged, supported and played in our 23 matches across the country today.

Chief executive officer of The National League, Michael Tattersall, commented: "Our thoughts are with the players and staff of our clubs who are self-isolating or otherwise affected by the coronavirus.

"The National League is keeping the continuation of the season under constant review and will provide a further update in due course".