The Gloucestershire Northern Senior League have abandoned the 2020/21 league season, with a revamped and extended cup competition to take its place.
During a committee meeting this week, the motion to abandon the full league programme went through due to a number of concerns raised surrounding key areas for the restart, with four clubs confirming to the league that they would not support a restart for a full league season.
Whilst the identities of the clubs are unknown it is believed that three clubs from Division Two and one club from Division One had confirmed their intention to not take part in a full season based on current issues with the restart.
The concerns themselves include the lack of shower/changing facilities for both players and referees, as well as some referees themselves saying that they would only be looking to travel to games near to home due to the lack of changing facilities, especially in the winter months.
Due to complications that would arise with promotions and relegations if four teams didn’t take part in a full season would see the GNSL potentially have to extend to 35 teams, with a solution to reduce back down to 32 unmanageable at present.
Even though there will not be any County Cup competitions for the 2020/21 season, the committee agreed that the full league restart should be abandoned.
However, the GNSL will be replacing league fixtures with an extended Reg Davis Cup competition, with the aims to start in October and will consist of a group stage (4 groups of 8 teams), before a knock-out portion of the competition.
There are also ideas being discussed for secondary competitions to be put in place for sides who are knocked out at the group stage, in a plate format similar to the Stroud League.
The format for the replacement cup competition will need to be approved by the clubs within the league and another EGM will be arranged by the GNSL committee to finalise the plans.