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Fixtures suspended over Coronavirus outbreak

The Northern Premier League has today decided, reluctantly, to suspend all fixtures until further notice in light of the escalating Covid-19 outbreak.

In a statement issued this afternoon they said:

“The League would like to congratulate the players, officials, volunteers and fans of clubs able to stage games at the weekend and notes the excellent attendances at those fixtures.  Whilst the primary responsibility of the League is to the financial sustainability of its member clubs, the number of clubs reporting players or officials in self-isolation has now reached a point at which continuing to play games would severely undermine the integrity of the competition.In consultation with the partners Eliteform, all NPL Football Academy fixtures have also been suspended until further notice.”

They added:

“The NPL is well aware that clubs and fans need clarity around whether the 2019/20 season is to be suspended temporarily or permanently, and the full implications of either eventuality.  The NPL will be working with the other Alliance Leagues and the Football Association, to assess the various options and to agree a way forward.As soon as we are able to, we will share that information with member clubs and their supporters.”

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Matches to go ahead this weekend.

Northern Premier League Matches will go ahead this weekend

The League have issued the following statement

Further to our communication of yesterday regarding the Coronavirus crisis, and following the Premier League and EFL deciding to pause the season until April 9th , the NPL has today been in discussion with the National, Southern and Isthmian Leagues to try and agree a common approach, but this did not prove possible.  The FA has today stated that it is each League’s decision as to what approach it wishes to take, so each league at Steps 3 & 4 will do what it believes best for its member clubs.

 

Accordingly, and in common with the National League, the NPL’s board has decided that all matches will go ahead this weekend, with future fixtures being reviewed on Monday 16th March.

 

Our primary concern, as always, is to protect the financial stability of our 62 clubs.  This means playing as many games as we can, so long as clubs wish to do so.  This is not contrary to the League’s and clubs’ duty of care considerations to players, officials or supporters but, in a season where clubs have been severely impacted by weather-related postponements, the NPL board believes that pausing the season right now would prove disastrous for many clubs.  The situation is changing daily, so our approach to Covid-19 must be flexible, recognising the very genuine concerns around the health of players, officials and supporters.

 

The League has consistently urged clubs to follow government advice, which is that football matches should go ahead as planned for now.  Having carefully weighed up all options, and mindful that we are between a rock and a hard place on this issue, all NPL matches will therefore go ahead as planned this weekend unless a club is directly affected by players, referees or volunteers who are self-isolating or have serious concerns.  

 

Please refer to the FA’s guidance notes, issued earlier this week and re-attached here.  If an infection occurs, or is suspected within a team group, government advice should be followed and the individuals with whom the victim is in direct contact should be advised to self-isolate.  In these cases, details should be provided to the League soonest and affected games will be postponed.  No club may simply call a game off; that is a decision for the League alone, however all requests will be dealt with sympathetically.

 

The Alliance leagues have requested urgent advice from the FA with regard to the impact of any short or medium term implications for payments to contract players.  As soon as we receive this guidance, it will be issued to all clubs.

 

In closing, the League acknowledges this is not a decision that will meet with universal approval.  Although our current stance may have to be reviewed as events escalate, it will be business as usual for as long as possible.

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MANarama is back in aid of Prostate Cancer UK

For the second successive October, Non-League football obsessives Vanarama are rebranding to MANarama – and once again we want to help raise bucket loads of money for a very worthy cause.

Last year, Vanarama – the official vehicle leasing partner of the BetVictor Northern Premier League – teamed up with Prostate Cancer UK and the country’s Non-League clubs to raise a fantastic £150,000 to help the fight.

We were proud to play a part and thanks to so many people it was a job well done, but there’s one issue – we soon remembered that the disease kills one man every 45 minutes in the UK.

So we couldn’t just sit back a year on think we’ve done our bit. Far from it in fact!

We’re back with a six-week campaign and we’ve got a rather famous face to help spread the message as we try to raise awareness as well as much-needed money.

Film star and former Non-League footballer Vinnie Jones’ life has been touched by cancer recently and it’s something he was desperate to put his name to.

Now he is urging ‘proper football clubs’ and ‘proper supporters’ to raise ‘proper money’ – you can’t say no to Vinnie, right?!

He said: “I am beyond proud to back this MANarama campaign. It combines two things which are so important to me; grass-roots football and fighting cancer. I started playing football in Non-League so I know that these clubs are at the heart of local communities.

“I don’t need to explain why the fight against cancer is so important for me.

“Non-League football is proper football and I’d urge all Non-League clubs and all the proper supporters out there to raise some proper money for this brilliant cause.”

So how can you help?

We need you! So get involved with the MANarama campaign as we try to combat Prostate Cancer together.

Give… donate to Prostate Cancer via text

Go… then bring others into play by sharing on social media with #GiveAndGo.

Donate by texting “MAN £10”, “MAN £5” or “MAN £3” (depending on the amount you want to donate) to 70004 & help stop prostate cancer from being a killer. Texts costs £10, £5 or £3 plus network charge. Prostate Cancer UK receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payers permission. Customer care 0800 082 1616. Charity No 100554

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Fixture change for the Bloods

Droylsden will play league newcomers City of Liverpool on Tuesday 1st October at the Butchers Arms with a 7.45 kick off.

The game was originally scheduled for the previous Saturday but was postponed because of City of Liverpool’s involvement in the Preliminary Round of the FA Trophy.

The Bloods will now have a blank weekend on the 28th September

 

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New sponsor for the Northern Premier League

The National League System’s ‘big three’ feeder leagues are celebrating a new two-year sponsorship deal with leading online gambling company BetVictor, starting from season 2019/20.

It’s the first time that a single brand takes on the title sponsorship of every Step 3 and 4 competition. Like many contemporary sports sponsorships, BetVictor’s focus is on digital and social media, with each league’s website being refreshed and new content added.

The new BetVictor sponsorship will bring a remarkable level of new investment into each competition, underpinning BetVictor’s commitment to supporting the game and to strengthen its digital presence through unique collaborations and campaigns.

In a joint statement, Nick Robinson – Isthmian Football League Chairman, Mark Harris – Northern Premier League Chairman and Terry Barratt – Southern League Chair, said:

“We are delighted to be working with BetVictor, such a high-profile sponsor. It is a major coup for the leagues at the Steps 3 and 4 of the National Leagues System. By working collectively, we become a much more attractive commercial and media proposition. We are all striving to professionalise our competitions and this sponsorship takes things to a new level.”

Commenting on the partnership, BetVictor’s Director of Brand and Creative, Matt Parkes stated:

“We’re very excited about this partnership and we’re confident it will be a successful one for all three leagues and for BetVictor. The growing popularity of the leagues amongst the football community in the UK gives us the opportunity to amplify our brand’s digital presence and engagement, and to get closer to the leagues’ football fans.”

The players’ shirt sleeves at 228 clubs part of all three leagues will also carry the BetVictor logo.