Chorley hope for fans back inside Victory Park as non-league restructure is mooted for next season

Chorley are hopeful of welcoming fans back inside Victory Park for the start of the 2021/22 National League North season.

By Craig Salmon
Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 8:17 am

The Magpies have played behind closed doors ever since countrywide restrictions were put in place to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

That meant no fans were able to watch, in person, the club’s league games nor their remarkable run to the FA Cup fourth round when they defeated Wigan, Peterborough and Derby before bowing out to Premier League Wolves.

Despite completing almost half of their league games during the 2020/21 season, the campaign was ultimately cancelled.

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Chorley's Harry Cardwell fends off Wolves Willy Boly in the fourth round of the FA Cup (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

However, with news that restrictions are beginning to ease during the summer, the club are hopeful that supporters will be able to watch the Magpies as early as pre-season.

Chief executive Terry Robinson revealed the club was hoping to issue details regarding season tickets soon, although they are waiting to hear news with regards to a possible restructure of non-league, which may mean more teams in the National League North season.

The latest restructuring, which would create three extra divisions, one at step four of the non-league pyramid and two at step five, was due to have taken place during summer 2020, but due to Covid-19 preventing the 2019/20 season from being completed, the restructuring was put back 12 months.

The same fate befell the 2020/21 season, but the FA have not ruled out the possibility of implementing the restructuring changes which have been previously agreed.

Speculation abounds regarding the criteria to be used in determining which teams are to be promoted if the restructure goes ahead before the start of the 2021/22 season.

Robinson said: “We hope to be welcoming you all back to Victory Park from July’s pre-season friendly schedule onwards.

“We now have to consider our position in relation to season tickets for 2021/22 and how to treat the many sponsors who have continued to support us so loyally.

“We are also awaiting details of a rumoured restructuring of the leagues, which may result in more teams competing in the National League North next season.”