Football officially over but Herts Senior County League to hold cup alternative

Hatfield United FC celebrate

The Herts Senior County League will run a cup competition as an alternative to the voided season. - Credit: HATFIELD UNITED FC

Non-league football may have been officially "curtailed" but the Herts Senior County League will still give players, staff and fans some competitive games. 

The decision to scrap this year's competition was the expected one and followed the government announcement that grassroots sport would only be allowed to restart following lockdown on March 29. 

The FA quickly pulled the plug on the leagues and divisions sitting between steps three and six of the non-league pyramid with the step seven and below HSCL soon following suit. 

But their announcement carried a positive overture. 

The county league's Scott Patmore said: "All divisions will cease immediately and be declared null and void. 

"There will be no promotion or relegation but we reserve the right to move teams up and down in the lower divisions if it is deemed in the best interests of the teams involved. 

"We are currently in the process of replying to the new teams that have applied to join and there is a possibility of starting a Division Four but we will deal with this when we construct our constitution. 

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"Personally, the committee and I have been championing the return of grassroots football and with this in mind we have decided to run an end of season inter-league cup competition." 

The draw will put create four groups of four in each division with the winners of each group playing semi-finals and a final, scheduled for the first bank holiday weekend in May. 

Patmore added: "We hope you feel this is a fantastic idea to get everyone back playing and concluding a very hard and emotional season." 

The FA had made their original decision after a vote of member clubs. 

They said: "The results showed over 76 per cent indicated a preference to curtail the 2020-21 league season if it could not be restarted with limited spectator numbers and hospitality before April 1." 

They also reiterated the fact that "extending the 2020-21 league season beyond the end of May would not be a viable option, citing "financial implications for many clubs, player contracts and the extent of the fixture scheduling issues".  

They did add that discussions around a potential restructure at steps four to six, first planned for the end of last season, would be revisited, with some saying the use of the word curtail rather than null and void was deliberate. 

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