Belles chief executive Russ Green has provided an update to supporters as the club waits to find out if and when the 2020/21 season will resume.
I hope all our supporters are keeping safe in these challenging times. I know I speak for everyone connected with the club when I say we miss all the familiar faces from matchdays - it was so great to get some games on in the first few months of the season and I truly hope we can return to matches together soon.
The Football Association recently asked our views on how we proceed from here. They gave us options including rendering the campaign null and void, extending the season into the summer or using a points per game formula if a certain number of games have been played.
We do not envy the position the FA are in as they look to provide a roadmap to finish the season against so many uncertainties which are beyond their control. Our feedback to the FA is that we are ready to resume playing as and when we are permitted and would like to complete the season as far as is safely possible to achieve a PPG threshold - even if this means playing games in June. We would like to be allowed up to five substitutes in a match if this happens.
If this is not possible we have suggested a solution which has also been put forward in the men's game - which is to combine results from last season to create a combined table. We're not sure if this is possible given the decision to render last year's results as null and void, but if you look at our division no one would question Wolves' dominance and their right to achieve promotion on the back of it if there is not much football left to be played this season. Safety has to guide everything in times like this but we believe a core tenet of the pyramid system is promotion and relegation, and would like to see that allowed to happen - whether or not we do enough in our remaining games to catch the leaders.
For now we wait to see what the Government says in terms of the national lockdown, which is being reviewed in mid February and will guide what options are available to the FA from then.
This season has been challenging financially - we have planned for regular matchday income which simply hasn't been coming in. Our local business community have been fantastic, with Optimum Training sponsoring the sleeves of our first-team kit and Clean N Bright on our shorts. We've also recently agreed a training kit sponsorship with HTF Transport, who want to do their bit to help an iconic women's team survive even though there's no guarantee at the moment we'll even be back training this season.
It is against this backdrop that we've launched the Belles 10 For 10 Prize Draw this week, which again sees some real support from our partners in donating prizes alongside some money-can't-buy experiences such as having our first-team coaching staff come and coach your junior football team, or a chat with manager Andy Butler over Zoom. Tickets cost £10 each and we have 10 prizes on offer - it's a great opportunity to win yourself some great prizes while also helping us through the financial challenge of having no home fixtures pencilled in.
Our RTC have kept going throughout the lockdown, they are again running online sessions for their youngsters as they are not allowed to gather for training. Credit goes to Chantelle Haigh and Amanda Greenslade for keeping everything on course, and thanks to the various sponsors who ensure the girls will all look smart when they can get back together for sessions and matches.
The first-team have been regulars in the online training sessions run by the Fit Rovers team at Club Doncaster Foundation, while myself and other Club Doncaster staff have been volunteering our time at a local vaccination centre. It's fantastic to see the community spirit on display throughout the organisation and among the Belles fans.
I hope everyone stays safe and good luck to everyone taking part in our prize draw. I cannot wait until we can see you all back at a game.