EXCLUSIVE: Thurlow Nunn League gets green light to extend season
Thurlow Nunn League teams are set to finish their campaigns across different days after the league was given approval by the FA to schedule games up to a week later than planned to complete a fixture backlog.
The last day of the season for both divisions had been planned for Saturday, May 5, but teams can now finish as far apart as eight days with the league able to allow clubs to re-schedule games up to and including Saturday, May 12.
The Thurlow Nunn League fixtures secretary emailed clubs last week to inform clubs the league was looking to get permission to extend the season as well as sounding out members as to whether their grounds would be available past the scheduled last Saturday of the season.
It was initially planned just to extend the season into the May bank holiday that followed the last Saturday (May 7) but the FA have now given the green light for some sides to complete their fixtures as late as a week after the original cut-off date, which is set by the FA themselves.
Thurlow Nunn League secretary Nigel Spurling told us: "I have just received confirmation from the FA that we (along with all the other leagues at our levels) have been granted an extension to complete all fixtures that affect promotion and relegation by Monday 7th May and all other fixtures by Saturday 12th May."
He explained the need for arising by saying: "The problem, of course, with this season is two fold.
"One: there have been more teams in our league than eve, with 24 in the Premier and 21 in the First Division, meaning we have had more fixtures than we have ever had.
"Two: In all time of doing this - 12 years - I have never known weather to affect things so late in the season when there is so little time to fit them in.
"I feel for the fixtures secretary has been tearing his hair out."
Ipswich Wanderers and Fakenham Town are among the sides to have already taken advantage of the extension, having re-scheduled their postponed Premier Division fixture at Humber Doucy Lane for Monday, May 7. Fakenham have nine games still to play in a month, while Wivenhoe Town, currently bottom of the table, have the most at 10.
The league extension could see teams vying for a promotion spot or to safe themselves from relegation finishing on different days to their rivals, and thus heading into their final games knowing what is required.
* If you have any thoughts on the league's extension or have known a worse season for postponements, email Russell Claydon by clicking the name at the top of this page.