The all-weather pitch at the MDL.

NEFL aim to resume season as finance continues to be a burning issue

Local soccer clubs will have to turn their attentions to preparing to get back into competitive action in the New Year after the North East Football League announced the resumption of the playing schedule for the week-ending 10th January 2021.

The decision was taken to resume action in the 2020 playing season following a recent NEFL Management Committee. It was also announced that the League is running a deficit due to the disrupted season close to €28,000.

"It was decided (subject to Government restrictions allowing for safe return) to resume the 2020 playing season on week ending 10th January 2021 with a view to completing the cup qualifying group stage by the end of the following two weeks, paving the way to schedule the knock-out phase of all competitions (from quarter-finals to conclusion) ASAP from the end of January," the NEFL statement said.

"The situation will be under constant review depending on prevailing circumstances at any given time."

The NEFL have also taken the decision not to charge player registration fees in order to help alleviate financial difficulties clubs may have.

"Following an early season decision to impose a 50% discount on normal team affiliation costs.

"Given the circumstances clubs have found themselves in over the past eight months," the statement continued it was further decided to waive player registration fees entirely (normally five euros per player) for the 2020 season. The overall deficit (when compared to 2019 season) that will now accrue for the NEFL shall be upwards on €28,000.

"It is hoped to get a favourable response (following an application made in September) from the FAI-Sports Council relief fund to help offset losses incurred in this manner, especially as the FAI have stated loss of income through pitch rental will not be considered for support.

"In the meantime our commitments to maintaining our sports ground, and all that entails is ongoing, and while such expenses relative to same may have been reduced somewhat over the past eight months, such reductions were a long way short of the percentage losses relative to comparable income levels from previous years."

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