Football suspended

There will be no matches for York City or other clubs in the National League North today. The division has been suspended until at least 6th February.

It means that the clubs first fixture at the Community Stadium may be on 13th February against Farsley.

The Club have issued a brief statement.

However, there is a growing likelihood that the season will be abandoned altogether, with must clubs in the league very unhappy about the government’s decision not to underwrite the additional costs of playing games behind closed doors.

Grants were made to cover costs during the autumn period. The expectation at that time was that the virus would be under control by Christmas. For a time small crowds were allowed back into some grounds.  

However soaring COVID-19 cases led to a further lockdown, with fans having to watch games via streaming services.

Most clubs at National North level exist on modest budgets and depend on the services of part time players. Most players have other jobs (York is a full-time outfit).  

The government offered loans to clubs to cover lost revenue. Most indicated that they could not legally continue trading at a loss, which would have been one of the consequences of the loan idea.

Last week 12 clubs wrote to the National League saying that the season should be abandoned if the government did not change its approach.

Chester City Chief Executive on Twitter

One club chairman pointed out that if the season were halted – and players and staff put on furlough – then this would cost the government more than extending the grant system until grounds were able to reopen.

Money is not the only issue.

Some clubs are having difficulty accessing COVID testing facilities. That is something that the government could and should fix quickly.

Another club Chief Executive said,

With the fact that there is no testing paid for, unlike higher in the pyramid, it was not fair to put players, staff & their families at risk.
Although a separate issue to the club funding it was equally important to get that resolved if by some miracle the season does continue.
Some players have pregnant wives, live with older parents etc… Putting them & their loved ones at risk. Plus of course interaction in players workplaces again adding to the chance of infection”.

While there may be some element of brinkmanship from the clubs as they seek to get the best deal possible, the government should recognise that it is their decisions that have caused the problem.

They should quickly agree to continue the grants system agreed last summer.

Ironically, if National League football is halted, then the first competitive game to be played at the new Community Stadium may feature the York Knights Rugby team! They are hoping to start their fixtures on 21st March 2021.

Coronavirus York updates; 23rd January 2021


Two additional deaths were announced by the York Hospital Trust today. One occurred on Thursday and the other yesterday. The cumulative total since the 1st September now stands at 241 fatalities.

Test Results

SEVENTY SEVEN (77) new positive test results were announced today bringing the cumulative total to 10,619

The rate /100k population is down below 400 to 375.58. This is the lowest rate recorded in the City since 28th December.

Following the current trend, the rate will reduce below 300 early next week.

The York rate continues to be below the national rate. The infection rate is also now reducing quicker than is being seen elsewhere in the region


Mostly good news as the number of cases in the City falls from 860 to 791.

The are now no neighbourhoods above the 800 case rate benchmark.

Two areas (South Bank/Dringhouses and the City Centre) are now below the 200 case rate benchmark.


There are currently 222 COVID patients being cared for by the York Hospital Trust. !3 patients are in intensive care.

The Trust has discharged 1536 COVID patients since the start of the pandemic.


Nationally 5,861, 351 first doses have been administered. 468,617 second doses have also been administered.

478,248 first doses were administered yesterday – the highest daily total so far.

No local vaccination figures have been published today. (see next story)

Plea for more information on local vaccination progress

According to senior sources within the York Council, the Authority is once again fuming over the lack of information being provided by central government on the response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Askham Bar vaccination site

A few months ago, the Council was highly critical when central government initially refused to share information about the progress being made with “test and trace” processes. It subsequently became clear that the process being used was ineffective with many contacts not being traced through the centralised system.

 Eventually the government relented and gave local Councils access to the data. This brought about an immediate improvement in contact successes, with locally based staff hand delivering notifications where telephone contact proved to be impossible.

Now a similar dispute has arisen over the availability of vaccination data.

Originally the government had promised that progress at a local level would be reported each day on its web site Vaccinations | Coronavirus in the UK (

But two weeks into the major part of the roll out of the jabs programme,  only national figures are being published. Even the promised regional performance figures have been removed from the site although these can be found via an NHS web page. Statistics » COVID-19 Vaccinations (

No information is routinely being published at either local health trust or local authority level.

Some information was published by the Council yesterday giving the total number of jabs delivered by 18th January. “17,341 CYC residents had received the first dose”.  There was no indication of the source of the 4 day old claimed figure

We understand that the York Council’s position is

…fully agree that more data being shared both regionally and locally on vaccine progress would be useful. This continues to be a significant frustration for local councils and public health teams across the country. Despite commitments made by Ministers last week to grant access to localised vaccination data for local public health team use, the data to which York’s team has access to is very limited. This is making it harder for the public health team to assist logistically with the rollout and give residents a clearer understanding of the situation locally”.

The senior source goes on to say,

“We have made such representations with colleagues in the Department for Health, NHS and the CCG. Earlier today I once again wrote to the Health Secretary outlining the urgency of providing access to granular vaccination data; broken down by region, local authority, age and priority group. I am waiting to hear back on if and when further data might be able to be shared.

I, along with colleagues and partners, will keep making the case for accessibility of both vaccination distribution as well as supply data to aid in the NHS programme and ensure we are on track to protect our residents and return back to normal when it is safe to do so”.

The Council Leader is quoted in The Press as saying,

It would be helpful if the Government gave more vaccination data; broken down by region, local authority, age and priority group”.

We are fully behind the Council in its quest from more openness.

We hope that local MPs add their voices to the calls.