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Slough Town would see hopes of promotion quashed by proposals put forward by National League

Slough Town are likely to see their hopes of promotion quashed, while Maidenhead United are set to retain their place at the top level of non league football, under proposals put forward by the National League for determining the end of the season.

Clubs in each of the league’s three divisions attended an online meeting with the league yesterday (Thursday) and have until Monday to vote on whether to decide league placings based on a points-per-game (PPG) calculation, similar to that used by Leagues 1 and 2 in the EFL.

In the National League Premier, and North and South leagues, only the top side will be promoted, while – controversially – play-off matches are set to be sanctioned in the National League, but not the National League North and South.

Using the league’s PPG method, Barrow will be promoted to League 2, Wealdstone will go up from National League South and Kings Lynn will leapfrog York City into first place in National League North.

Slough Town, who finished the season fifth in National League South, will miss out on their chance of promotion should the proposals be voted through by clubs this week and then ratified by the FA.

Chorley Town, marooned at the bottom of the National League for much of the campaign, will be relegated, while Maidenhead United – who were placed third from bottom when the season was brought to its abrupt conclusion due to the coronavirus pandemic – will retain their National League status for another season.

There was a degree of concern over this when the season was curtailed, but for some weeks now chairman Peter Griffin and CEO Jon Adams have been confident of remaining at the top level of non league football and this is now likely to be confirmed.

One of the other proposals put to clubs at the online meeting was that there should be no relegation from either the National League North or South.

The Non League Paper broke a story yesterday (Thursday) which goes some way to explaining why the league is reluctant to hold play-off matches at step two.

It reported that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport doesn’t include step two sides in its policy for the resumption of ‘elite football’.

There are also concerns that clubs at this level may struggle to put the necessary protocols in place to host play-off matches safely and in a timely manner, potentially pushing back next season's start date.

There is no date in the diary for the resumption of league football at this level, however, most clubs in the National League are concerned about the financial implications of putting on matches without paying spectators and social distancing restrictions would need to be eased significantly in the coming months for that to happen.

Yesterday’s online meeting was chaired by the National League’s CEO Michael Tattersall and clubs were able to submit questions in advance and query the board’s proposals. Clubs have until Monday to vote on the various matters before a final decision is made and ratified.

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