Saturday, June 15, 2024

COVID-19: FA Confirm 2019/20 Non-League season to be “Expunged”

The FA have confirmed that all non-league football below the National League will be void as of today and all results that have gone so far this season will be “expunged”.

It means that all leagues below the National League, National League North and National League South will end with no promotion and no relegation, wiping out nine months of hard work from the teams.

This will also apply in the women’s game with all leagues below the Women’s Super League and Championship .

As for other Competitions such as the FA Cup, they say they are currently “reviewing all options” complete the tournament. The FA Cup has reached the quarter-final stage and even it has to be done behind closed doors, should be finished.

“These are challenging circumstances for English football and all decisions taken are in the best interests of the game,” said an FA statement.

“Our primary concern will always be for the safety and welfare of clubs, players, staff, officials, volunteers and supporters during this unprecedented time.

“Today’s steps take into account the financial impact during this uncertain period, whilst considering the fairest method on how the sporting outcomes for the season will be decided, with the integrity of the leagues in mind.”

FA Decision is frankly unfair

There are at least a few teams throughout the non-league system who had already won promotion to the next division but now, there promotions will be cancelled and they’ll have to try again.

Jersey Bulls had won all 27 of their matches in the Combined Counties Football League Division One and were 20 points clear at the top.

Then you come to the Northern Premier League Premier Division where you will find South Shields FC top of the league. They were 13 points clear and on course for promotion to the sixth tier, but that won’t happen any more.

Frankly, it’s ludicrous. These teams are being punished for something beyond their control. There’s absolutely no need to cancel the season in this way – the Football Association should have been doing everything possible to allow them to finish.

What about all of the teams at the bottom of the divisions? They’ve just had their bacon saved and will be grinning from ear to ear – so why is it fair that they should be almost rewarded for failure while the teams at the top are punished for success?

Geoff Thomson, the chairman of South Shields FC voiced his anger on Twitter.

Chairman Geoff Thompson vented his frustration on Twitter, saying they had been “badly let down”.

“SSFC will be writing to the FA in the strongest possible terms and will seek an appeal or will take legal action,” he said.

“Whatever the outcome following this appalling decision the club will continue as before. However, there is no denying this decision has a huge financial impact.

“We have invested heavily this year in a host of areas and the loss of promotion will also affect some of our revenue assumptions for next season.

“My message to all our SSFC fans and sponsors is – sorry a huge disappointment and we’ve all been badly let down.”

Frankly, this is a shocking decision from the Football Association. I get this is a tough time and that they’re caught between a rock and a hard place right now, but all this does is highlight their ineptitude even further.

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