05:05PM, Tuesday 31 March 2020
Having met earlier today (Tuesday), The National League Board has decided to suspend its three leagues indefinitely.
However, despite saying it would be obtaining specialist legal advice, the league has offered clubs no guidance as to whether the competitions will be declared null and void, or how relegations and promotions will be sorted.
Slough Town boss Jon Underwood reacted to the statement by tweeting: “Have never known an organisation that generates more questions than answers from every statement they put out. Understand the challenging circumstances but surely we deserve more.”
Last week the FA announced it was bringing non-league football leagues from steps three to seven to an immediate conclusion with all results being expunged. However, no such decision has been taken by the National League and the FA.
The decision to expunge results for sides at step three and below is being challenged by more than 100 clubs, including Ascot United, who are hoping to put pressure on the FA’s Council not to ratify the decision. Clubs have also been lobbying their MPs to get the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to try and reverse the decision, believing it’s been taken too hastily.
The statement from the National League this afternoon read: “The National League Board met earlier today and has reviewed its prior decision to suspend the competition until at least 3rd April 2020.
“In consideration of the very serious and unprecedented national public health emergency caused by the coronavirus, the Board has taken the decision to suspend the National League, National League North and National League South competitions indefinitely.
“The National League is currently obtaining specialist legal advice, is consulting regularly with The Football Association and other stakeholders, and is committed to involving its member clubs in a pending decision on how best to conclude the 2019/20 season.”
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