Thirty-five games in 12 weeks after four months off, you are going to have players dropping like flies, warns Cray Wanderers boss Tony Russell

Monday 22nd February 2021

The Isthmian League has stated that it will not extend the season beyond 31 May after a manager in the Premier Division voiced his concerns over player welfare after reacting to speculation that the League would cram in fixtures to complete this season.


Cray Wanderers played the last of its seven of their 42 Isthmian League Premier Division games on Wednesday 28 October 2020 by beating Merstham 6-0 at Hayes Lane.

The club’s next three outings came in The FA Trophy, beating Whitehawk (3-0)  and Uxbridge (3-1) before losing 3-0 in the Second Round away to  St Albans City on Tuesday 15 December 2020.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will outline his road map out of the Covid-19 health crisis this evening, with grassroots football set to return in England from 29 March 2021.

The National League North and South declared their 2020-21 campaign null and void after clubs voiced their anger that Government funding was not forthcoming and were to be loans instead.

“I’m hearing the League want to now play 80% of the League in 12 weeks, having had four months off,” Cray Wanderers manager Tony Russell said on Twitter.

“Thirty-five games in 12 weeks after four months off, you are going to have players dropping like flies.

“They will give us two weeks to get the players’ ready, so you have no chance.

“This is the League who stopped because bars couldn’t open, now they are going to ask for this!”

However, Isthmian League spokesman Craig Johnson added on Twitter: "The League are not suggesting it at all. 

"We agreed we would not extend the season beyond 31 May.  No fans, no play.  No second spend, no play." 

Last season's entire Isthmian League campaigns were declared null and void due to the health pandemic.

When League's resume, it would benefit all clubs that spectators can watch games.

Cray Wanderers are in fifth-place in the table with 15 points, six points adrift of leaders Worthing, with a game in hand.