The Toolstation Northern Counties East Football League have confirmed that the competition will be suspended until at least January.

It comes after the league’s management board held an emergency meeting on Monday evening over the resumption of the competition when the national lockdown is lifted on 2nd December.

A statement explains: “The league conducted a poll over the weekend to gauge the opinions of our clubs about playing fixtures behind closed doors due to the tier system which comes into effect on Wednesday 2nd December, 2020. As it stands, 37 of our 40 teams will be placed into Tier 3 and therefore will be unable to admit spectators to matches.

“80% of our clubs said that they would not want to play matches behind closed doors.The NCEL management committee has taken the view of member clubs into account and has decided to suspend ALL league fixtures until January 2021 at the earliest.

“Although the tier system will be reviewed every two weeks, indications are that most clubs will remain in Tier 3 for the foreseeable future so the situation is highly unlikely to change when the first review takes place on Wednesday 16th December, 2020. The NCEL will await the outcome of the second scheduled tier review on Wednesday 30th December, 2020, before considering whether matches can feasibly restart in January.

“A further update will follow once this decision is made.”

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