REDS have suffered more heartbreak as their fan-favourite festive games have been cancelled.

The Northern Premier League board met on Friday to review their decision to restart the 2020/2021 campaign.

Workington AFC initially celebrated some much-needed good news as it meant that their New Years Day home game against Pontefract Collieries and the Boxing Day outing against Dunston could still go ahead.

However, at their meeting on Friday, The League Management Committee ruled that playing fixtures on Boxing Day and New Years Day should be optional, this has spelled disaster for Workington’s games.

The NPL has said: "The principal issue raised by clubs was that, as a result of the original decision, clubs were effectively being forced to stage competitive fixtures at a financial loss." Workington heard the news on the way home from a match against Brighouse Town which saw the the opposing side equalising the score in a last ditch shot in the final moments.

Pontefract no longer wish to travel to Borough Park for the New Years Day game and Dunston no longer wish to host the Boxing Day match.

Non-league football is facing daunting challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A Reds spokesperson said: “Many clubs in our leagues still remain in tier three areas and despite the decision to allow limited return of fans to these grounds, the impact of lost secondary revenue from clubhouses etcetera is both vital and significant.

“This also applies to clubs in Tier Two like ourselves. No club can survive simply on the gate money from its spectators alone, particularly when we all operate on greatly restricted capacities.”

The NPL is aware of the challenges faced by their clubs: “As part of our lobbying of Government, we continue to press for clubs to be able to open their bars. However, with so many pubs and restaurants closed, we have to be realistic.

“Government simply won’t budge on this point.”

Although nothing is confirmed, the board met on Sunday to discuss the prospect of re-scheduling fixtures over the Christmas period. In a climate of uncertainty, clubs await the next Government announcement on December 30.

The club has thanked fellow Reds for their continued support: “Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

“Please do stay safe over Christmas and we hope to meet everyone again really soon back on the terraces.”