On 5th August 2020, we informed all clubs remaining in our County Cup Competitions from the 2019/20 season that it is with great regret that we would not be in a position to resume and complete our Cup Final Programme.
As you will remember the season was curtailed due to the worldwide pandemic and the lockdown restrictions implemented by the UK Government on 23rd March and at that point, we had still hoped and intended to complete the Cup Final Programme, with it possibly forming a part of our club's pre-season preparations. At that point, we had no clear picture as to when football could or would return nor what conditions may be in place to ensure a safe and also appropriate environment for our Cup Finals to take place.
Unfortunately, as the pandemic and lockdown restrictions continued through May and June by the time we received The FA’s latest guidance on Saturday 18th July it had become clear it would be extremely difficult to get the finals played in not only a safe environment but also with minimal impact on the league seasons.
A further complication that was discussed in our deliberations was the different levels of football that are impacted by our Cup Finals. With some clubs being involved in both weekend and midweek fixtures it would become impossible to organise a final before September when most leagues are due to start and then once in September it would be difficult to arrange fixtures for a midweek evening, with a lack of floodlit pitches available due to the return of our senior clubs.
Our desire was to ensure that we had a consistent decision across both our Youth and Adult competitions and to ensure all clubs were treated equally. We have decided that those finals that were confirmed with both finalists will be officially recorded as a trophy share. Whilst those finals that either had only one or neither of the finalists confirmed have been ruled null & void.
We appreciate that the decision we have taken is going to be difficult to take, however, our priority at all times is the safety of the players and club members involved, our match officials and volunteers, whilst having minimal impact on what is already due to be a condensed season.