The Chromasport Northants Combination League started slightly late in September 2020 due to COVID-19 and everyone in local football was hopeful of a full and uninterrupted season.
It soon became clear that all levels of football were being disrupted with high infection rates, hospital admissions and tragically many people were dying. While the latest lockdown was in place the Northants Combination became very aware of the well being of its 2,500 plus players, 69 teams and in many cases grassroots volunteers who were at risk.
Having completed only 25% of the fixtures the league had time to plan and prepare for a possible restart when the government and The FA allowed. We contacted our clubs to seek their opinions, concerns and possible solutions to a restart, the responses varied considerably.
Considerations included declaring the season null and void, restart and complete as many fixtures as possible and finally an opportunity to create a new exciting competition based over 9 Saturday match days.
The new format was 44 teams in 8 divisions commencing on Saturday 3 April and finishing on Saturday 29 May. This represented two thirds of the member clubs and communicated a very positive message. The league is indebted to our long term sponsor Duston Garage who have supported local football since 2009. The Northants Combination also recognises our headline sponsor Chromasport of Peterborough, with which we enjoy a three-year agreement.
Many of the league's players have faced furlough, redundancy and difficult employment prospects, we hope the new exciting competition will help them in combating the dreadful 12 months of COVID-19.