THACKLEY believe their season will not resume post lockdown as financially clubs at their level simply cannot play on without fans in the ground.

Following discussions between the FA and DCMS, it has been confirmed that supporters will not be allowed to attend games that take place at steps three to six in tier 3 areas.

The Northern Counties East League, which contains the likes of Thackley, Eccleshill United, Albion Sports, and Campion, has 37 of its 40 teams under tier 3 restrictions.

They were due to restart the season on December 8/9, but given the latest news, only North Yorkshire sides would be able to welcome in (300) fans.

Even then, their clubhouses, a huge source of income at non-league level, would have to stay closed unless operating as a restaurant.

The NCEL have released a statement asking clubs to tell them whether they would be willing to restart behind closed doors or would wish to wait until spectators are allowed back.

Although no official decision has been made yet by the North West Counties League, which Steeton play in, a motion has been tabled to delay the restart of that until at least December 19, with a review on tier 3 areas due on December 16.

Thackley chairman expects his team's league to follow suit.

He said: "A number of leagues are saying they are postponing, I would not be surprised if our league voted for the same.

"We will have the same issues as every other team. Tier three means no fans and no bar.

"You would have all the expenditure and minimal, if any, income. It is just not sustainable.

"We are considering it internally, but it is definitely going to be challenging if matches do continue."

When Bradford finally does enter tier two, the Dennyboys feel they are in a unique position to other clubs.

He added: "We are lucky that we have to have a new clubhouse and are in discussion with a few local businesses to provide food. That might be an option.

"Some clubs have their clubhouse in a shipping container, which have been converted, they don’t have the ability to serve food."

As for whether a conclusion of the 2020-21 campaign is achievable, Oliver does not know what to think.

"The FA are intent of concluding the season, either from completing the matches or some mathematical formula. Nobody wants to see a spreadsheet decide the season.

"We have provisional friendlies lined up next week on the 3rd and the 5th to try get some match practice back in. But with no fans allowed in, will those still go ahead?

"We cannot even plan on a week by week basis currently, never mind long term."