The Bracknell & District Sunday League has been busy since the Government’s announcement on 22nd February that adult grassroots football can return from Monday 29th March.
Serious consideration has been given to the many options available to the League that, at the end of February, outlined a proposal to all member clubs that, in summary, looks like this:
- End the League competition with immediate effect (null & void)
- Complete the League’s Senior & Junior League Cup competitions
- League to stage two additional supplementary cup competitions
- League to facilitate friendly fixtures to provide for continuity of football until the end of the season
Feedback received from clubs to this proposal was hugely positive and, at a Special General Meeting (SGM) held last week, the League’s proposal was accepted unanimously.
Tony Hardy, the League’s General Secretary, stated: “Clearly we considered resuming and completing our League programme but with only 25% of fixtures played, and with well over 300 fixtures still to be played, combined with limited pitch availability across the Bracknell Forest and surrounding areas, this was always going to be a tall order. So, to provide our teams with football, at least for a couple of months, we decided to play out our League Senior and Junior Cup Competitions that had reached second round stage (many local leagues had cancelled their league cups long ago!) and to put on two supplementary Cup competitions that are to be played on a Champions League basis.
“There is huge support amongst our clubs to continue the season in this fashion and now the hard work of making the necessary arrangements and scheduling fixtures has started.
“We shall play our first games back on Sunday 11th April (Sunday 4th is Easter Sunday!) and emphasis shall be given to playing our League Cup ties in April with Supplementary Cup games to be played in April and May. We have offered to facilitate friendlies, where teams may have a void to fill, by appointing referees and allocating pitches where available. The season will end on Monday 31st May.”
Though the FA has still yet to issue detailed Guidance for a return to football, anticipated soon after 22nd March, the League has worked closely with Berks & Bucks FA who have provided valuable support, as well as with the many providers of pitches and facilities to make a return to football possible. We can all now look forward to a couple of months of competitive football next month, barring any further changes to conditions enforced by the Government.