Because although the date of the nation’s locks are earmarked to be opened on December 2nd, there is always that overhanging threat that the hiatus continues for as long as Science dictates and it is this, which is causing heartache for grassroots outfits up and down the country.

With funding being such a prevalent issue over the course of the summer and the concerns of how to fulfil a full league campaign for the 2020/21 season, the first few weeks of competitive football in September and October would have acted as a huge relief.

As even though capacities would have been capped at a certain percentage (depending on the ground grading and level that a club operates at), it at least allowed some money to swell back through the coffers.

Money that is not just in the guise of gate receipts, but also the clubhouse or the programme sales and when you consider that literally every pound counts, the ability to sell a Burger or two before kick-off would have undoubtedly made a huge difference.

However, that difference has now been nullified and those early concerns regarding how a whole season can be played out, not just in financial terms but now also the constant headache regarding fixture scheduling are at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

When you consider, that the UK is partial to a cold snap at the start of each year, there is also the risk that even if January does see a return to football, the weather may say otherwise and this could lead to a slew of postponements.

Which means fixture secretaries will have an even tougher task than they had before, as the strain of a curtailed calendar becomes even more apparent over the weeks and possibly even months to come.

Then again, a rescheduled date may be the least of the non-league community’s concern and if clubs start to go to the wall because the money has run out, those same fixture secretaries will then be presented with a sightlier easier task.

Not that they would want to work in such a scenario, because the hope but not unfortunately the expectation is that every outfit that has been told to stay home for the next four weeks, is in a position to resume activities when permitted to do so.

Because although four weeks does not sound a huge amount of time in the grand scheme of things, it is the lack of cash flow that will present this biggest problem and with such an arbitrary period for a second lockdown, at what price does a third or even fourth present itself in 2021.

Quite simply, grassroots football cannot keep going back into the box at will and just because they are not paying out largesse salaries on a weekly basis, does not mean that their existence is any less important.

Now though, we simply wait for the end game. A game that unfortunately is not of two halves, but approaching eight months and when you consider how much anguish the English non-league scene has gone through as of late, unfortunately it now must prepare itself for even more.

Written by Dan Tracey

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