It has now been two weeks since an overwhelming majority of clubs in the Trident Leagues to pause the season until there was a review of the Tiers set by the Government.
In the last few days a significant number of areas in the South-East of England have now been placed in Tier 3 including areas of East Sussex for the first time. After the announcement today by the Government, 63 out of 81 clubs in the Isthmian League are now in Tier 3, including 17 out of 22 clubs in the Isthmian Premier League. Whilst Lewes is currently one of the five clubs still in Tier 2, the club’s view has not changed in terms of whether we should restart.
The Board of Directors are aligned with the sentiment of the Isthmian and Southern Leagues that the lack of income from secondary spend revenue, the reduced attendances at Tier 3 clubs and more importantly, the duty of care the League has to Players, Club Officials, Volunteers and Supporters during this current pandemic means it is not feasible to restart competitive fixtures in the foreseeable future.
Lewes will continue to monitor the situation in line and work closely with the Isthmian League on future Government review dates and/or any decision that allows Government grants to become available to clubs. There is no date set for a formal restart but the club will be given sufficient notice and this will be communicated to our fans as soon as we know.
We know that some of our fans will be disappointed with this news and want to see a return to competitive matches as soon as possible. However, in light of the significant increase in COVID-19 cases, especially in the South-East of England and the impact that has on our community, we firmly believe that doing our part in reducing the risk of infection is the priority at this stage.
The management team and the Heads of Football Operations will continue to prepare the squad for a return to competitive fixtures over the next few weeks, working within social distancing and furlough regulations.
To keep everyone updated, we plan to host a virtual Fans Forum on Monday 4th January where anyone can ask a question our management team, the players and representatives of the board. More details will be shared in due course.
For the time being please take care and stay safe.