Margate: After much deliberation, we have taken the very tough decision to withdraw from The FA Trophy

Friday 04th December 2020

MARGATE have explained the reasons why they have withdrawn from The FA Trophy.

Jay Saunders’ side were due to play Burgess Hill Town in the First Round at Hartsdown Park next Tuesday, 8 December but with Kent being placed in Tier Three restrictions by the UK Government the game would have been played behind closed doors and the club would have lost out on match-day revenue.

“The Isthmian League announced last night that the football season will be suspended due to the risks presented by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said a club statement.

“This decision has been agreed across the Trident Leagues, Isthmian, Southern and Northern Premier Leagues.

“Currently they have given no details regarding review dates to restart the League, however, in the short term this means that no fixtures will be played throughout December.

“This has a particularly unfortunate effect on the Gate with regards to our scheduled FA Trophy tie on Tuesday 8 December.

“After much deliberation, we have taken the very tough decision to withdraw from the competition.

“A number of factors have contributed to this decision. Firstly, the health and safety of our players and staff are of paramount importance.

“Kent is currently in Tier Three with alarming infection rates across the county.

“This risk alongside the fact that a number of players in the squad are in isolation presents a serious risk factor.

“Additionally, as a Tier Three area, no fans will be allowed into Hartsdown Park to watch the game. The financial implications of this apply a pressure on the club if we proceed.

“No one wanted this to be the way we finished 2020 but we hold out hope that football will return in 2021.

“We will update you with any information as and when we receive it. In the meantime, we hope supporters take good care and keep safe.”

Margate came away from Aylesbury United with a 4-2 win in the previous round on 1 November and haven’t played since due to the second national lockdown.

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