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News Archive > Sport > St Piran League chief sheds light on restart plans

St Piran League chief sheds light on restart plans

By Gareth Davies 3rd March 2021

St Piran League chief sheds light on restart plans
t Dennis reserves, locking horns with their Launceston counterparts earlier this term, have had their St Piran League campaign ended

The St Piran League (SPL) have agreed to curtail the 2020-21 season although a cup competition could take place if it can start by April 24.

In an exclusive interview with the Voice, SPL secretary Steve Carpenter revealed that after much back and forth with the Football Association (FA), a decision was reached by the league after a board meeting last Friday.

Once the FA agreed that the SPL, a step seven feeder into the National League System, could continue until the end of June, Carpenter revealed that completing the entire campaign ‘wasn’t viable’.

A Champions League style cup event is now planned, with optional entry to all clubs, although much hinges on further transparency from the FA in terms of spectator numbers when matches return.

“We had a management committee meeting via Zoom last Friday,” Carpenter said. “We considered a number of options because the FA, at every level haven’t come out well across the whole piece. I will add that the county FA have been brilliant, however.

“The FA were in two minds about what we could and couldn’t do as a feeder league into the National League System. At one point, they were saying we could go until the end of June because we are a grassroots league. They then said no, because we are a feeder league, we have to finish at the end of May. Then, at the end of last week, they flipped again and said we could go until the end of June.

“Once we got the clarity, we then knew what we could or couldn’t do. We then sat down from there and looked at various options - one of which was going until the end of June to try and complete the season.

“For a number of reasons, that simply wasn’t viable at all. Some clubs wouldn’t have pitches available, there was also a clash with cricket and all sorts of other things had crept in too.

“Although it would have been easier for the West division, but for the East, if we lost just one weekend, it would have all gone wrong.

“Then, if clubs, didn’t want to partake, even though the picture is very much improved, there was no way we could go to the end of June. This didn’t leave us with any other real options other than to curtail the season.

“I think the word curtailed has been used instead of null and void because at least the leagues can keep their records. So we knocked the league on the head and despite being able to start from March 29, it’s not that simple.”

Although Carpenter openly acknowledged that clubs were keen to start playing again, he was keen to stress that at this stage, nothing is set in stone for a cup competition.

“Clubs want time to train and we had some tentative plans over a cup competition and that is what we are going to do,” he added.

“It’s proposed in a Champions League style with two groups that cover the East divisions and two covering the West. Entry will not be compulsory, and this has gone out to the club and the returns will need to be back with me next Monday (March 8).

“What we have said is that unless we start the competition by April 24, then it won’t happen. We would then drop everything and start again next season.”

By Gareth Davies 3rd March 2021

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