Playing in any invitational tournaments is a non-starter for Lancaster City

Lancaster City will not be participating in any invitational tournaments over the next couple of months.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 8:16 am
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 8:20 am
Rhys Turner and his Lancaster City team-mates won't be taking part in any invitational tournaments over the next few months (photo: Tony North)

That is the message from boss Mark Fell, who insisted it would not be financially viable for the Dolly Blues to play any form of football this season.

Since the 2020/21 campaign at steps three and below in non-league football was officially cancelled, some clubs have organised competitions after the Government announced its roadmap out of restrictions.

Next month, fellow Northern Premier League outfit Clitheroe will stage an eight-club tournament at its Shawbridge home, while clubs such as Garstang, Charnock Richard and Longridge will take part in something similar organised by Prestwich Heys.

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Unfortunately, City will not be getting involved as it will cause too much strain on their finances, although Fell revealed that the club could look into staging a pre-season mini-tournament in the summer, especially as his squad will not have kicked a ball in anger since November.

“It’s a very difficult position for us,” said Fell. “If we bring players back in then we have got to pay them.

“I can understand some of these North West Counties club who won’t have a massive wage bill or won’t have a wage bill at all.

“Clubs at our level can’t bring their players back in especially if, for example, some of them are on furlough – we will then have to pay them but we don’t have any income from crowds .

“It just does not make any financial sense to us to get engaged in something like that.

“I would love to do it. I would love to have a tournament and have this sort of thing happen.

“There are no clubs in the NPL Premier Division getting involved in these tournaments because it does not make any financial sense to them.

“It’s unfortunate and if it was a pre-season tournament then it’s something we would look to get involved in because we wouldn’t be paying players at that point anyway.

“I think we will look to do something a little bit different in pre-season.”