Five clubs have been forced to pull out of this season’s FA Vase Second Round stage, something that we’ve seen many a time in the tournament.
Sadly, it means that 13 teams in total have withdrawn from the 2020/21 FA Vase due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ashington, Burton Park Wanderers, Kirkley & Pakefield, Mildenhall Town and Deeping Rangers during the second lockdown and with the latest Covid restrictions put in place across the country, more are expected to follow.
The very latest club to announce the decision is Ashington of the Northern League Division One, issuing a statement on Wednesday morning which read:
Ashington Football Club regretfully announce that we are withdrawing from the 2020/21 FA Vase competition.
We were due to play Charnock Richard FC (near Chorley, Lancs) on Saturday 5th December but due to several factors the club feel it would be in the best interests of all concerned that we do not play this game and withdraw from the tie. This is a decision that has not been taken lightly and it is one that carries massive disappointment for all at the club on and off the pitch.
Our first priority under the current circumstances lie with the health and wellbeing of our playing staff, officials and volunteers. A six hour return journey from one very high risk area to another during the current situation is not one which the football club is comfortable with – potentially placing the players, staff and their families at risk.
Like everyone else, we are desperate to get back playing with fans able to attend and watch and the only way this will be possible is for us all to play our part in reducing the infection rate within our area allowing us to move out of Tier 3. In order to help this happen we as a club will adhere to the government guidance that travel out of a Tier 3 area for sport should not take place.
We are aware that step 3-6 within the National League System has been identified as work, however playing football is not the primary income for the vast majority of our squad. We need to minimise the risk in our players and staff being unable to attend their primary employment due to illness or isolation.
Secondly – without fans permitted in the ground or external support to play the fixture it is not financially viable to travel, pay wages and associated expenses in what is an uncertain time for non league clubs such as ours. There is also no certainty that the competition will be completed due to the pandemic given that last years final is still to be played.
Ashington Football Club have entered FA Competitions since 1887 and are always proud to represent the town and wider area on a national stage. On this occasion we feel the correct decision has been made, in the best interests of the overall Football Club with a duty of care, and hope everyone connected with the club understand the very difficult position we are in.
We would like to thank Charnock Richard for their understanding and wish them the best of luck for the remainder of the competition and season.
We look forward to hopefully playing again soon, in the meantime we hope everyone stays safe and well.
– STATEMENT ENDS –
The other clubs to have been forced to leave the competition are as follows:
– FC Isle of Man (AFC Liverpool walkover) – First Qualifying Round
– Southwick (Seaford Town walkover) – First Qualifying Round
– Greenwich Borough (Cobham walkover) – First Qualifying Round
– Shelley Community (Bootle walkover) – Second Qualifying Round
– Exmouth Town (Sherborne Town walkover) – Second Qualifying Round
– Cadbury Heath (Ashton & Backwell United walkover) – Second Qualifying Round
– Jersey Bull (Cobham walkover) – First Round Proper
– Ashington (Charnock Richard walkover) – Second Round Proper
– Burton Park Wanderers (Norwich United walkover) – Second Round Proper
– Kirkley & Pakefield (Gorleston walkover) – Second Round Proper
– Mildenhall Town (Leighton Town walkover) – Second Round Proper
– Deeping Rangers (Hanley Town walkover) – Second Round Proper
Fans reacted after seeing five clubs including Ashington pull out of FA Vase Second Round stage….
The people who saved the club from extinction a couple of years ago? Stop talking shite bunny lad.
— Mr Messy (@Scottmes) December 2, 2020
Thick as mince.
— Mr Messy (@Scottmes) December 2, 2020
Fully back them for that decision. Financially been out of pocket playing league games all season with restricted crowd numbers let alone the operating costs in the Vase with no income or funding towards travel costs. Hopefully no sanctions from the FA because of the decision.
— Chris Sanderson (@NE63exile) December 2, 2020
Absolutely the right decision in the circumstances. How people can expect football to go on between different tiered areas is beyond me.
— Sam Shotton (@s_shots3) December 2, 2020
This is sad news 😢
— Paul Springett (@paul_springett) December 2, 2020
Its the right decision..in the circumstances.
— Steve Reid (@richy_choc) December 2, 2020
Sorry to hear that
— steve majer (@steve_majer) December 2, 2020