In common with the whole of the grassroots football family in Lancashire, we are eagerly awaiting details from the Football Association around the conditions under which football can return from March 29th.
These details remain subject to discussion between The FA and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. We have been in regular dialogue with our leagues to gain an understanding of their intentions and we are aware there have been consultations with clubs to gain maximum consensus.
Since the roadmap was revealed by government last month, we are conscious that a number of clubs across the region have been exploring the potential for tournaments and festivals from Easter, through the May bank holiday weekends, into the summer months.
We fully understand the footballing and financial arguments in favour of such events. However, we need to be clear that until the FA guidance is published, and we have had the opportunity to look at the rules around mass gatherings, and discussed these with local partners, Lancashire FA will NOT be sanctioning any tournament or festival.
Our very strong advice, therefore, is to wait for the clarity we are all seeking and then see if such events are logistically, and even morally feasible. We remain of the firm opinion that we have a wider social responsibility beyond football to play our part in the minimisation or even eradication of Covid-19.
We would remind all clubs and potential organisers that there is a prescribed process to follow in arranging a festival and having it sanctioned by the County FA. We would also point out that even if the FA guidance allows such events to take place, they would still be subject to any additional conditions that may be put into effect by local authorities or site operators.
We will make a further statement once the FA guidance is published, and will strive to ensure our position is aligned with that of our neighbouring County FAs.