Following The FA’s decision to conclude the 2019/20 season for Grassroots football, The National League Clubs (Steps 1 & 2) have voted to end their current season as it stands.
“In the knowledge that the ordinary resolution has passed, the League’s board has chosen to communicate the decision now and before the last few responses are received, which will not change the outcome, to enable clubs to make business decisions with greater clarity as soon as possible.
“The options concerning the sporting outcomes of the 2019-20 season remain under careful and timely consideration, and further updates will be given in due course.”
The promotion and relegation outcomes are now under “careful consideration” after the league’s board had urged clubs in its three divisions to vote in favour of ending the regular season without further games because of coronavirus.
The National League board will now meet on Friday (24/04/20) to discuss the next steps and whether it will be plausible to continue with the playoffs or not.
The idea of ending the current season as it is, as opposed to voiding it, leaves some clubs in a promising position and Barrow AFC boss Ian Evatt has said cancelling the league ‘is the right thing to for football’, and Barrow should rightfully be promoted to the Football League.
Barrow took a huge gamble being one of the clubs to vote for the league to be ended. For some in non-league though it is more than the standings they have to think about.
Evatt told talkSPORT:
“We understand that contracts are 44 weeks and we’re getting to that stage where players are out of contract at the end of April and clubs need to save that money, it’s that simple.”
With The Northern Premier League abandoned as a result of Grassroots football being concluded, some will be having a watchful eye on the National League developments, one being league leaders South Shields.
The Mariners were runaway leaders in the competition before it was considered null and void but should the National League find a way of deciding promotion and relegation it could see a way for South Shields gaining entry to the National League North (NLN) next season.
One way that is said to have been considered is by a points-per-game basis. If that was to be the case then York, who top the NLN, would miss out to Kings Lynn who, despite being second, are only two points behind playing two less games hence, a higher points-per-game ratio.
On the contrary, a club disappointed with this outcome is Notts County, who are playing in the National League for the first time in their 158-year history.
“We would like to place on record our disappointment that the season has been brought to a premature end,” said a statement from the Magpies’ board of directors.
“While we appreciate the views of other clubs and respect the overall outcome of this vote as a representation of opinion across the three divisions, our stance has always been that the National League should operate in tandem with the EFL due to the intrinsic link between the two leagues.” The full statement is on their website.
The National League will have to work with the English Football League (EFL) on the principle of two teams getting promoted. What’s more, there is still the task of balancing the books after Bury’s expulsion left League One with 23 teams.
Football in England is suspended indefinitely, with the Premier League and EFL still hoping to play seasons to a conclusion.