STEETON have given their reasons for pulling out of the much-anticipated Yorkshire Trophy post-season tournament.

After it was confirmed that supporters would not be able to attend from April 12, the initial start date, a host of clubs like Steeton, Silsden and Thackley pulled out.

Organisers Brighouse Town have now rearranged the start date for when fans can return on May 17.

But Steeton boss Roy Mason is still happy with his club's decision, explaining: "We were always of the opinion that it would be difficult to get the Trophy going.

"We were surprised that teams were so positive about participating, given it has pretty much been known for a long time that no fans could come back until May 17.

"We're not a grassroots side, nor are the others competing, so we need fans.

"We were on a Zoom call about the tournament earlier this month just after it was officially confirmed fans couldn't come back, to see how it could work.

"But only six of the initial 12 teams showed up and Campion said they'd be pulling out after five minutes of the call.

"That meant we'd have been the only ones in our group left.

"There were proposals that other teams like Sheffield FC and Stocksbridge Park Steels could join, but that's a long way away for a team like us."

In the end, the tournament is going ahead, with Brighouse, Liversedge, Golcar United, Wakefield and Penistone Church playing in a two-week competition from mid-May.

Asked why that didn't appeal, Mason said: "We just felt there was no point. If we'd have joined to make it six teams, we'd have been looking at a three games a week format, having not played since December.

"We wanted to play the likes of Silsden and Thackley anyway as we could have generated real support and more fans for those games than these ones.

"It's also the time and expense of keeping our lads training for another six weeks for a two-week tournament.

"We've already been given a provisional July 31 start date by the North West Counties League, and have told the lads to come back for pre-season training on June 16.

"That would mean they'd only get a couple of weeks off after this tournament and football isn't the be all and end all.

"With things opening up, the players are going to want to go places, and we'd be asking them to potentially give that up for what is essentially a friendly competition with no status.

"That's largely why we've pulled our reserves out of the Yorkshire Amateur League for the rest of this season.

"As well, they were struggling, we weren't allowed to loan them first team players, and there was no punishment for them dropping out so it made sense."

Mason, who has always reiterated that Steeton run a tight ship, said a lack of expenditure means the club are set to be okay financially heading into 2021/22.

Last season's sponsors will be rolled over into the new campaign, while deals could be offered to entice more fans in.

But the non-league landscape could look a little different in a few months, with a restructure set to see several teams promoted based on good performance over the last two incomplete seasons.

Mason said: "I'm in two minds, because if you look at the likes of Ilkley Town, who've put so much investment into it, and Vauxhall Motors, who'd already secured promotion when the 2019/20 season was declared null and void, then they deserve it.

"But I can't understand how you can null and void seasons, then go back months later and reuse those results after all. It just feels like a lack of consistency from the FA.

"We should restart in the NWCFL First Division North still, but geographically it's possible we could have some lateral movement, like with Silsden the other year.

"For now, we expect to be in the same place, and we're looking forward to renewing acquaintances with some teams and maybe welcoming a few new visitors."