Non-League Finals Day at Wembley Stadium to be one of four football test pilots before Elite football fan re-opening

Wednesday 26th August 2020

The Football Association has confirmed Non-League Finals Day will take place at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 27 September 2020 and will be open to a limited number of spectators.

The showpiece final is one of four football fixtures – among other sporting events - being used as a pilot before life returns to normal.

“We can confirm that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced that games in the Women’s Super League, FA Trophy and FA Vase are among the latest batch of sporting events that will be used to pilot the safe return of spectators,” said a statement from The Football Association.

“The previously postponed 2019-20 Non-League Finals Day – now due to take place at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 27 September 2020 – will be open to a limited numbers of spectators.”

The DCMS added: “The new phase of the programme began with the finals of the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible, Sheffield on 15-16 August.

“The events have been selected to test a range of different event styles across the country’s major men’s and women’s spectator sports.

“A number of successful pilots have already been completed as part of the programme’s initial phase including snooker at the Crucible and cricket at Edgbaston and The Oval.

“The initial tranche of pilots will take place over the coming weeks, building up throughout September with a view to a full reopening for fans in October.

“The pilots will only take place if the latest scientific and medical advice allows for them to proceed in a Covid-secure way and will be paused again if the advice suggests that conditions in the local area are not met.

Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for DCMS, said in a statement: “I know fans and their teams can’t wait to be reunited in stadia across the country but it’s imperative we take a cautious and phased approach to get fans back in safely.

“I’m pleased that infection rates have levelled off enough to resume the pilot programme and we will continue to work intensively with sports, medical and health and safety experts towards welcoming more fans as fast as we can.

“Some events previously agreed as pilots went ahead behind closed doors earlier this month after a rise in infection rates led to the government pausing its roadmap for recovery on 31 July.

But on 13 August, the Prime Minister confirmed that the latest public health data showed it was safe to resume activities and re-openings that had been postponed.

Clear guidance, produced in close consultation with the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA), set out the strict measures that test events must follow to limit the spread of Covid-19.”

These include:

  • Upholding social distancing in queues;
  • Minimising the risk of any pinch points or crowding;
  • Carefully controlling bookings so that social distancing is observed in seating arrangements;
  • Minimising the numbers of tickets sold to a pre-defined safe capacity, in accordance with regulator guidance;
  • Recording people’s data to assist NHS Test and Trace.

Corinthian are expecting to hear from The Football Association tomorrow when and where their FA Vase Semi-Final tie against Hebburn Town will take place.  

Michael Golding's side only have to play one game against the Northern League outfit (rather than a two-legged nervy tie) to find out who will play Consett or Bitton at Wembley Stadium.

Consett beat Deal Town 2-0 in the Fifth Round on Saturday 8 February 2020.

Meanwhile, Brentford played their last ever game at Griffin Park by beating Erith Town 6-3 tonight to reach the London Senior Cup Final.

Erith Town's Steadman Callender went down in history by scoring the last ever goal in a competitive game at the 116-year west London stadium.

Brentford B also reached the London Senior Cup Final in 2019 but were defeated 1-0 by Welling United.

This time they will play Hendon in the Final after Hendon needed extra-time to beat Wingate & Finchley 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Hendon have revealed that the showpiece final is due to be played on Wednesday 16 September 2020, provisionally at Welling United’s Park View Road.