2020: It will all end in Tiers

Friday 27th November 2020

Isthmian League Chairman Nick Robinson says he will be meeting The FA Executive tomorrow morning to discuss the situation of the UK Government introducing new restrictions next week.

Our clubs that are located in a London Borough, Surrey or Sussex, have been placed in Tier Two, while all Kent clubs were placed in Tier Three, which means games will have to be played behind closed doors until further notice.

The Isthmian League have contacted all of their member clubs regarding the situation.

“Following the announcement of the Tiers, the Board of Directors have met to consider the position in which we all find ourselves,” said Mr Robinson in a statement.

“We were concerned that there is no secondary spend at Tier Two and no spectators at Tier Three.

“We are aware that the Boards of the other two Trident Leagues (Southern League and Northern Premier League) are meeting tomorrow and I have a meeting scheduled with the representatives of those Leagues and The FA Executive on Saturday morning to try and reach a consensus on the way forward now we know the impact of yesterday’s announcements.

“I will update you further as soon as I have more information.”

The Football Association said yesterday: “We note the Government’s further update on the three-tiered system and continue our ongoing dialogue with Government to clarify the details and next steps, including travel between tiers.  We will publish detailed guidance once we’ve clarified these details.”

The Southern Counties East Football League – which also has sides in both tier two and tier three - has been suspended until Saturday 26 December - while FA Vase ties are still going ahead as planned.

A statement from the Kent County League said: “Kent is Tier Three and London is Tier Two under the new Covid-19 restrictions.

“We MUST now await an update from the FA as to implications of this decision, if similar restrictions are applied to those before the National Lockdown, this WILL impact on fixtures.

“This will delay the release of fixtures – we will provide a further update ASAP.”

The Kent Youth League added: “We will wait with interest news from The FA and Kent FA before we make any further comments or updates.

“Thank you for some interesting views on yesterday’s decision regarding the new tier structure – clearly we have a lot to think about – taking into account what our clubs have to say.”

Bromley, in Tier Two, can attract a maximum crowd of 2,000 to their home games at Hayes Lane once lockdown ends next Wednesday, while their Tier Three National League rivals, Dover Athletic will not be allowed to attract fans to Crabble.

Isthmian League Premier Division side Cray Wanderers, also in Tier Two, can attract a maximum crowd of 600 to Hayes Lane, while their league rivals Margate and Folkestone Invicta are both in Tier Three so won't be allowed fans in at their home games.

Step Four sides in Tier Two can attract a maxium crowd of 400, while fans will be banned in Tier Three areas.

Step Five and Six clubs in Tier Two can attract a maxumum crowd of 300, while fans will be banned in Tier Three areas (the whole of Kent).

For example, with East Sussex in Tier Two, Crowborough Athletic will be able to attract a crowd of 300, but nine miles up the road in Kent, Tier Three Tunbridge Wells will not be allowed to attract fans to Culverden Stadium.

Club chairmen are invited to express their thoughts on being placed in Tier Three - plese email stephen@kentishfootball.co.uk