West Lancashire League Regional Cup Competition for 2020/21 season
As promised, the WLL committee discussed the ongoing issues of the 2020/21 season at the December Committee Meeting. The Management Committee reviewed several options including;-
- Continuing to try to play a normal season
- Re-structuring fixtures so that teams played each other once
- A Regionalised Cup Competition
To date we have lost all of August (potentially 8 fixture dates) & all of November (4) & December (3/4) so we’re clearly way behind schedule. 227 league games have been played with a further 205 postponed due to various reasons including Covid (146 games), whilst a further 48 games have been postponed due to waterlogged pitches / abandoned games (Figures up to end of November).
Due to the severe & increasing fixture congestion; Saturday 2nd Jan to Saturday 1st May only provides 18 Saturdays, & bearing in mind some teams have only played 4/30 games (26 remaining fixtures), clearly this is going to be a major issue. No team has played more than 8 fixtures to date meaning many teams have 22+ games yet to be arranged. With so many matches to be arranged & the fact that some teams are currently either unable to play any, or they could only play 1 or 2 league games, the Tier system restrictions imposed is hitting the WLL very hard.
As these ongoing issues, forced upon the League by the Covid pandemic Tier restrictions, plus considering the likely hood of losing additional Saturdays to the weather (waterlogged & frost bound pitches) through early 2021, the geographical area that WLL covers & the amount of travelling teams would have to make for the certain numerous evening games during April / May, it is extremely unlikely that a normal season could be completed.
It was unanimously agreed that we should terminate the 2020/21 season with immediate effect & organise a Regionalised Cup Competition. This would mean starting season 2021/2022 in August 2021 with the same divisional format as 2020/21 subject to the resignations / applications to join the WLL.
This would allow an unprecedented competitive Regionalised Cup Competition for member clubs that would provide fixtures for teams through January to April (possible extension into May if necessary). One competition for Premier Division, Division 1 & Division 2 teams with a separate competition for the reserve Division teams. Such a competition would not only provide the football we all want but would also save clubs money due to much reduced travelling expenses.
The competition would allow home & away fixtures played on a regionalised / Tier group system providing teams with 8, 10 or 12 games (dependent upon their geographical area). At the conclusion of these group matches, quarter final, semi-final & finals would be arranged & played (subject to Tier restrictions having been terminated by early April).
Member Clubs are invited to apply to enter these 2 competitions.
Applications by email to WLL Fixture Secretary (email@example.com).
The closing date for applications is 29th Dec 2020.
Competitions likely to start 9th / 16th January 2021 - target completion 1st May 2021.
Please bear in mind however, that should Covid Tier restrictions continue (including players travelling across Tiers to play) preventing you playing fixtures, you should not enter the competition & that fixtures could be withdrawn if Covid Tier restrictions require such action by the WLL committee.