Ladies 4 days ago

Statement: Ladies Season Ends With Immediate Effect

Watford FC supports fully the decision of The Football Association to declare the National League South's 2019/20 season null & void.

"Certainty is welcomed at a time when there is little around for obvious reasons," said Hornets' Chairman & CEO Scott Duxbury.

"This decision provides the opportunity to look to next season and ensure that thoughtful and appropriate planning can take place in the coming weeks."

The FA's statement can be read in full below.


The Football Association [The FA] has been working collaboratively with the National League System [NLS], the Women’s Football Pyramid and the wider grassroots game since the outbreak of COVID-19 on how to conclude the 2019/20 season in the most appropriate way possible.

These are challenging circumstances for English football and all decisions taken are in the best interests of the game and in consultation across key stakeholders. Our primary concern will always be for the safety and welfare of clubs, players, staff, officials, volunteers and supporters during this unprecedented time.

Today’s steps take into account the financial impact during this uncertain period, whilst considering the fairest method on how the sporting outcomes for the season will be decided, with the integrity of the Leagues in mind.

The NLS and the Women’s Football Pyramid were able to build a consensus amongst their leagues and, where possible, aimed to create a consistent approach across all leagues, whilst taking into account the unique characteristics of each individual league.

As a result, The FA and NLS Steps 3 to 6 have reached a consensus that their 2019/20 season will now be brought to an end, and all results will be expunged. This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between NLS Steps 3 to 6, and no promotion to NLS Step 2.

These decisions will also apply to the Leagues and clubs who play at NLS Step 7.

The National League [NLS Steps 1 and 2] have agreed that they want to attempt to complete the competition in line with the Premier League, EFL and Barclays FA Women’s Super League and Emirates FA Cup and are therefore seeking permission from The FA that the season for this level will be extended beyond 1 June 2020 indefinitely.

The planned implementation of the restructure of the NLS will also now be deferred until the start of the 2021/22 season. 

Furthermore, we can now confirm that The FA has decided that all grassroots football is concluded for the 2019/20 season. This will allow the game to move forward and to commence planning for next season. Our County Football Associations [CFAs] will be supporting grassroots leagues over the coming days to determine how they should close out their current competitions.

Where appropriate, the above decisions will be put to The FA Council for ratification.

Throughout this period The FA continues to seek guidance in respect of the Government’s financial support packages relative to COVID-19 and how they are applicable to clubs in the NLS, the Women’s Football Pyramid and the wider grassroots game.

WOMEN’S FOOTBALL

In the women’s game, The FA, FA Women’s Board members and the Women’s Football Conference have consulted and reached a consensus regarding the Women’s Football Pyramid.

The FA and the Leagues within Tiers 3 to 7 have reached a consensus to bring the season to an immediate end and all results will be expunged. This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between Tiers 3 to 7. Agreement has also been reached to end the Regional Talent Clubs season, which was due to conclude in April 2020.

We remain in consultation with the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship Board and clubs regarding the most appropriate way to complete the current season; including the Barclays FA Women’s Super League Academy.

5 days ago

Deeney: “We've All Got To Stay At Home”

By Kevin Affleck

Club legends Troy Deeney and Luther Blissett have urged parents to keep their children at home and reconnect as families as the country bids to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Deeney, a father of three, has been alarmed at the minority who are ignoring the government guidelines about staying at home unless it's to buy basic essentials, to exercise or to fulfil a role as a key worker.

“We've all got to stay at home and follow the government guidelines,” he said. “How many more warnings do we need? They said they'll pay 80 per cent of wages and people are still going to work. It's going to have to go like Russia where if you go outside, it's five years in jail.

“Some are seeing it as a bit of a jolly up and it's a shame because it could affect so many. You've got to hope people see the curve in Italy and Spain and get [the severity] of it.”

Deeney understands it is difficult to keep children cooped up now they are off school, especially now the weather is taking a turn for the better, but knows the longer the rules are flouted, the longer this lockdown will remain in force.

“The worst thing that happened was when it came out that [the virus] doesn't affect the young so they are like, 'I don't care'. 

“But it has been nice to see families became together again. I think we have gone away from that. I've never seen so many people walking or taking the dog out. There has definitely been a family feel that has come back. Maybe this situation might make people step back and go, 'Do you know what, I'm putting too much emphasis on work and not my family and real life stuff.”

Blissett, who made a record 503 outings for the cub, scoring a record 186 goals, said it's time to evoke the spirit of the club's greatest ever manager.

“On the back of what Graham Taylor said, it's family first, football second,” said Blissett. “That should never change especially at this particular time. I'd also like to say a thank you to all NHS workers and other essential workers that do their job as without them, we'd be in a state.

“Sunday's briefing by Boris Johnson was quite poignant as I could see he was struggling to say to everyone, 'Look, you're not listening. I'll have to enforce it if you don't get on with it.' What we saw at the weekend was disgraceful, with everyone going out having parties. This is the single most deadly thing we've ever had to deal with. We need to adopt the spirit of back in the war when we looked out for, and after, each other. We need to take every precaution and respect each other's space.”