FOLLOWING yesterday's government announcement, grassroots football will be able to return next week.

But, though not so much of a problem at Sunday League level, those in Steps 3 to 6 of the Non-League System, like Thackley, Eccleshill United and Brighouse Town, will still be sweating until Thursday.

That is because each region of the country is waiting to find out which tier the government is going to place them in.

At "elite" level (National League North and South and above), clubs in tier 1 will be allowed up to 4,000 fans, up to 2,000 fans in tier 2, but no fans whatsoever in tier 3.

With the likes of the Bradford and Leeds District being placed into their own lockdowns before the nationwide one, there are fears that the regions would be in tier 3 when the government make their announcement in a couple of days' time.

According to the FA, the guidance is that spectators at non-elite sports 'will be able to attend events in line with Covid-secure guidance for each tier'.

What exactly that means is not fully clear though, and it seems highly unlikely that clubhouses would be allowed to reopen in tier 3 areas either, a real blow given many clubs rely so heavily on things like bar takings.

As for return dates, the Northern Counties East League (Thackley, Albion Sports, Eccleshill, Liversedge, Silsden and Campion) is due to come back on December 8, while the Northern Premier League (Brighouse) is scheduled to return on the same date.

The North West Counties League (Steeton) is set to get underway again a little earlier, on December 5.

Brighouse are due to host Thackley in a friendly on that date, but that may depend on whether fans are allowed in and clubhouses are allowed to open or not.

Bradford City Women's first game back in the FA Women's National League Division One North looks like it will be on December 13 at home to Chorley.

There are some variations on when grassroots leagues like the Bradford Sunday Alliance League and the West Yorkshire League are due to restart, but the vast majority will be either next weekend or the one after that.