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Wisbech play the waiting game

Wisbech Town must play the waiting game to find out the future of their Northern Premier League season.

The Fenmen were among clubs canvassed for their views on what happens next to the South East Division campaign which has been suspended since the end of October.

Clubs had until Friday, January 22 to submit their opinions but Mark Harris – chairman of the Northern Premier League – believes it is unlikely that they will discover the outcome until later in the month.

Wisbech Town have played just eight of their scheduled 38 league games.
Wisbech Town have played just eight of their scheduled 38 league games.

Harris explained: “We are very much in limbo at the moment.

“The deadline for the clubs to respond to the FA survey was last Friday and it will now take a week or so to chase up any stragglers – although why anyone would not respond to such an important survey is beyond me.

“It will then take another week on top of that to really understand and analyse the findings. The FA Alliance Committee, of which the Northern Premier League is represented, will then get together before a decision is made.”

The league campaign is currently suspended until March 6 following the announcement of the third national lockdown.

However, the Trident Leagues – which incorporates the Northern, Southern and Isthmian leagues – have already announced that it is their view that the season should cease immediately and be declared null and void.

Harris added: “We are dealing with a situation which is changing daily and it is extremely hard to forward plan.

“The league made its recommendation highly reluctantly to clubs to go null and void based on the information available to us at this time. We don’t know when lockdown is going to be lifted and, when it is, we don’t know what it will be replaced by.

“It’s perfectly possible that we could go back into the tier system which might mean football can’t be played in front of fans anyway in tiers three or four.

“The key thing is that although there might be a lot of people who can predict what might be happening you have to work on what you do know when you are administering a league which is our starting point.

“We will continue to keep the March 6 date for the time being because that is probably the earliest we could consider as nobody actually wants to terminate a season if it can be avoided. There is no rush to come to a conclusion on this and we will always try to give our clubs as much certainty as possible but without forcing ourselves into a corner.”

Wisbech have played just eight of their scheduled 38 league games so far this season with their last outing being a 3-0 defeat at Loughborough Dynamo on October 24.

  • The Eastern Counties League, where March Town and Wisbech St Mary play, has not yet gone public with its plans for the season.

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