THE announcement of towns and cities in England moving tiers from today has caused problems for football leagues and teams around the country.

This is because, below elite level (National League North and South and above), tier 4 restrictions mean football matches cannot go ahead, even behind closed doors.

And even though Bradford is still in tier 3, it has not gone unaffected.

Most of the teams in the Northern Counties East League are in tier 3, including our sides Thackley, Eccleshill United, Albion Sports, Liversedge, Campion and Silsden.

But there are a number who play in the likes of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, which have been moved into tier 4.

The NCEL has acted swiftly, announcing its fixtures will be suspended until January 13 at the earliest.

The North West Counties League, where Steeton play, has suspended all of its fixtures until further notice.

The Chevrons, led by manager Roy Mason, are the only team with a Bradford postcode in the league's three divisions.

Multiple teams in the league come from places moving into tier 4 like Lancashire and Cheshire, including Barnoldswick Town, meaning carrying on was not plausible.

The league's chairman, Paul Lawler, said yesterday evening that the season would be almost impossible to complete before the summer, and suggested a suspension and restart in August could be on the cards.

The tier 4 situation is also set to affect the Northern Premier League, where Brighouse Town play their matches.

Many teams had been refusing to play given the current Covid situation anyway, but four games set to go ahead tomorrow are now off.

The league has said it will provide an update next week about fixtures beyond that after meetings have taken place with the FA, Trident Leagues and Alliance Leagues.

Brighouse's next opponents in the NPL North West Division are due to be Widnes on January 9, but they are from Cheshire, so that fixture will surely be off.

Brighouse Women are also affected. They were due to play Newcastle United in the FA Cup Second Round but cannot as the Toon are now in tier 4.

Bradford City Women's game at Chester-le-Street in the FA Women's National League Division One North is also set to be postponed, due to the home side being based in the North East.

Back to men's football, and even though Bradford (Park Avenue­)'s National League North game at York City can go ahead on Saturday, it will now take place in tier 3, after North Yorkshire was moved up from tier 2.

And that is desperate news for York, as it is their last game at their famous old Bootham Crescent ground.

They were due to welcome 2,000 fans, but the clash will now be behind closed doors.

Finally, the 10 Premier League and EFL clubs in tier 2 that had been allowed fans are now all in tier 3, meaning no crowds for them either.