Consett’s next two Northern League games, against Penrith and Ashington, have been postponed after the league management committee decided to delay the restart of fixtures.
However, this Saturday’s FA Vase 3rd Round tie v West Auckland Town is unaffected, and will go ahead as planned, with a 3pm kick-off at Belle View Stadium. The game is now sold out and no admission will be available on the day.
Our away Durham Challenge Cup tie at Birtley Town, which was postponed this week, has been rearranged for Wednesday, December 23, KO 7.30pm.
The decision to delay the restart of league fixtures follows a meeting of the league management committee (LMC) to discuss club responses to the Government’s changes to Tier 3 restrictions, which allow up to 150 spectators to attend fixtures, but means clubhouses must remain closed.
A number of clubs were prepared to resume fixtures from Saturday December 19, but some have been told by their local councils that they are not permitted to sell refreshments.
The majority had already indicated it isn’t financially viable to play games with attendances pegged at 150, and with no income from food and drink, they would still have significant levels of expenditure, with no grants available to cover any deficit.
Some clubs felt a change to Tier 2 restrictions allowing attendances to rise to 300 could allow a return, but the LMC decided to postpone this weekend’s fixtures even before today’s decision to leave the North East in Tier 3.
The situation will be reviewed again by the LMC on Monday, January 4, with a possible resumption date of Saturday, January 9.
A LMC spokesman said: “The committee fully understands and shares the frustration at the situation we find ourselves in, and we are grateful for the patience of officials, volunteers, players and spectators.
“In the meantime we will be writing to all the relevant local authorities to see if they are willing to address the issue of the sale of refreshments at grounds in their area, as this provides such crucial revenue for clubs.”
Our game at Penrith was due to take place on Monday, December 28, and the home game v Ashington on Saturday, January 2. New dates will be set by the league in due course.
At the moment our next scheduled league game is on Saturday, January 9, when we are due to entertain Seaham Red Star. However, at the moment both clubs are still involved in the FA Vase, and the next round is due to be played on that date.