THE North West Counties Football League have come up with a package to help their member clubs, including Steeton, to the tune of £35,000.

Last week, Steeton boss Roy Mason told the Keighley News that he feared for the future of some football clubs at this level, given the major financial impact that the coronavirus-enforced shutdown of the sport could have.

And it seems the NWCFL share his concerns. In a statement on their website, they said: "As well as being football clubs, all 60 of our clubs are businesses who are suffering financially from being closed at present.

"With games postponed, there is no matchday money coming in through gate receipts, programme sales, or bar income.

"Clubs with clubhouses find themselves unable to put on functions which would otherwise boost their income, with any staff likely having to be furloughed.

"Funds may be available to some clubs to help them through this time, with the Government, HMRC, Sport England and others all offering help if clubs meet specific criteria.

"However, we are conscious, as a league, that we too must also do our best to help our own clubs.

"The Finance Committee held a meeting via our conference call facility, to come up with a package that can help our clubs.

"These recommendations have been subsequently been approved and ratified by the board via email communications."

The amount of the package that was agreed totals over £35,000, which is made up of some of the following items:

1. The league will be waiving the annual subscription for the 2020/21 season. This will ensure that none of their 60 clubs have to pay any annual fees for the league, Macron Cup or Cup.

2. The Annual General Meeting and Awards Dinner that the NWCFL hold every year at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool is to be cancelled this year.

Clubs pay for this in their League Services payments throughout the year, and this will be reimbursed to all clubs.

Details of a revised date and venue for the AGM will be given to clubs in due course, as per Article 9.1, once the situation becomes clearer.

3. Clubs that are owed money for match officials' travelling expenses will be paid with immediate effect.

The league operate an equalisation scheme, where every club pays the same amount for match officials regardless of location, with some clubs refunded and some billed at the end of each season.

4. The league are also looking to further reduce costs for the 2020/21 season through a variety of measures that can in turn be passed on to the clubs.

This could include online handbooks, the reduction of matchday paperwork and match report books, or a reduction in pass cards and the observers levy.

5. Any outstanding amounts that clubs owe to the league via fines or referee equalisation cannot be written off, as it would be in breach of Article Four.

However, any clubs that do owe money can request a deferment via the league secretary on the amount owed to.