The face of Cornish football could be set for a major revamp, with an amalgamation featuring the county’s East Cornwall, Duchy, Combination and Trelawny Leagues potentially on the cards, writes Tom Howe.
Grassroots football, alongside sporting events across the globe, has been impacted massively by the ongoing coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic – with the United Kingdom having seen 73,758 cases resulting in 8,958 deaths at time of writing.
While leagues at steps three to seven have seen their 2019-20 campaigns nulled, voided and expunged, those below the cut-off point, although encouraged to follow suit, are discussing options with their member clubs regarding the fairest way to complete their seasons. In the background, the Football Association are continuing their restructuring plans which, this season, saw the inauguration of the St Piran League.
However, further plans are afoot, with sources close to The Independent suggesting four of Cornwall’s historic leagues – which currently hold a cumulative ten divisions – could be pooled together in a move the like of which hasn’t been seen since a merger between the Mining and Falmouth/Helston Leagues at the end of the 2010-11 campaign.
A spokesman for the Cornwall Combination League, who have agreed to void and expunge the 2019-20 season from their records, told The Independent: “The East Cornwall, Duchy, Cornwall Combination and Trelawny will have to wait until the current situation comes to an end.
“The Cornwall County Football Association have intimated that an amalgamation is on the cards for the four mentioned leagues. This is going to take a massive discussion between these leagues if this is to take place.
“Before that can happen, each individual league will have to deal with the problem matter of their own league and the closure of this season. I hope the FA do not force this amalgamation by next season, like they did with the restructure [last summer].
“If this is to happen, it has to be what is best for the individual leagues and what is best for those leagues within the county of Cornwall – not to make the people at the FA decide our fate without concern for the welfare of the game here in Cornwall.”
Meanwhile, another of the leagues in question, the Duchy, are allowing member clubs to decide the fate of their season, with a spokesman saying: “We are currently putting a vote out to all clubs to give the option of declaring the season null and void – the league officers’ preferred choice – or the other option offered by the FA of aggregated points for outstanding games.”
Picture: Paul Williams