Over the last week, the club have been following developments in regards to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the additional restrictions put in place by the UK government, including large parts of London and the South East being placed into a new “Tier 4”. Whilst Brighton & Hove remains in Tier 2 at this time, 63 out of the 81 teams in the Isthmian League find themselves in Tier 4 area and a large amount of players in the league live in Tier 4 areas.
In Tier 4 areas the FA advise that “Non-Elite” football is not permitted, including competitive games and training, and in line with government regulations for Tier 4 those who live in these areas should stay at home unless they have a “reasonable excuse” to go out. The Isthmian League in their latest statement on 17th December advise that the pause of the 20/21 season will continue until further notice with no restart date given, however at least 14 days notice will be given for the season to restart.
With the above being considered along with the rising rates of infection across the South East, our first team side will not be training or holding any friendly matches until further notice. Whilst we can hold training sessions, host games at The TerraPura Ground and play Away games in most of Sussex, we will not be able to have our full squad attending and the safest thing for the club to do is suspend these activities until the situation improves or until the FA/league/government guidelines change.
At present our U18 side are unaffected by the changes in guidelines and can train and play the majority of games as scheduled at this time with their next game being Away at Eastbourne Borough on Tuesday 5th January.
Whilst we all wish to be playing football the priority right now is keeping our players, staff and supporters safe and whilst we don’t know what the future holds and when we may return, we look forward to when it will happen and in the meantime we wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas.