NORTH West Counties Football League clubs now know when their 2021-22 season will start.

The league has provisionally agreed to kick the new campaign off on Saturday, July 31st, on the proviso that the easing of Covid restrictions continues to go to plan.

The past two campaigns have been ended early by the pandemic but with the picture looking brighter, there is confidence that the coming season will be played to its completion.

In a statement, the NWCFL also said they are aiming to confirm a rearranged date for the outstanding 2019-20 Macron Cup Final between 1874 Northwich and Runcorn Town in the coming days.

Under the Government's current 'roadmap' out of lockdown, all legal limits on social contact could be removed by June 21.

The league say they will look again at their start date if anything throws that plan of course and affects things such as crowd capacities and hospitality provision at matches.

"Following the disappointments of the two previous seasons being cut short by the pandemic conditions, the management committee looked at the potential for logistical issues that could surround the re-start," they said.

"However, we are confident enough to set the date, subject to conditions being right to play open and competitive football in what is viewed as normal operating conditions.

"It is hoped that by the time July comes around, there will be few if any restrictions regarding spectator access to stadia, hospitality provision and of course operational requirements such as team and officials changing facilities and so on.

"If we still find ourselves in a restricted operational environment, it is likely that this will need to be reviewed.

"However, given the positive outlook at present with regards to the pace of roadmaps, vaccinations and lockdown easements, we are hopeful that we will be good to go in what will be a highly anticipated season in the campaign that will take us up to the 40th anniversary year of the foundation of the North West Counties League.

"We are also hoping to confirm the staging of the 2019-20 Macron Cup Final between 1874 Northwich and Runcorn Town which is still outstanding but an event that we are keen to hold.

"It is hoped we can confirm a date for this in the coming days."