LEEK Town and Nantwich Town have received the news today they didn’t want – and that’s promotion and relegation has been scrapped for this season.
The goods news for Stafford Rangers however, is they won’t face the drop having been in the BetVictor Premier Division relegation zone all season.
For Leek Town however, it’s a devastating blow having been top of the South East Division for most of the season and were firm favourites to take their place in the Premier Division next season.
It also means no promoted for North West Counties League side Stone Old Alleynians or Midland League teams Brocton or Uttoxeter Town.
The leagues decided earlier this week to end the season immediately, the only issue was the promotion and relegation spots.
Leek boss Neil Baker wanted the FA to go on points per game ration which would see his side promoted, but it’s hasn’t worked out that way.
In announcing the decision earlier today, the Football Association said in a statement:
“We have been working collaboratively with the National League System (NLS), the women’s football pyramid and the wider grassroots game since the outbreak of COVID-19 on how to conclude the 2019-20 season in the most appropriate way possible.
“These are challenging circumstances for English football and all decisions taken are in the best interests of the game and in consultation across key stakeholders. 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.
“The NLS and the women’s football pyramid were able to build a consensus amongst their leagues and, where possible, aimed to create a consistent approach across all leagues, whilst taking into account the unique characteristics of each individual league.
“As a result, The FA and NLS steps three to six have reached a consensus that their 2019-20 season will now be brought to an end, and all results will be expunged. This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between NLS steps three to six, and no promotion to NLS step two.
“These decisions will also apply to the leagues and clubs who play at NLS step seven.
“We will continue to assist and support the National League (NLS steps one and two) to determine the outcome of its 2019-20 season as quickly as possible. The planned implementation of the restructure of the NLS will also now be deferred until the start of the 2021-22 season.
“Furthermore, we can now confirm that we have decided that all grassroots football is concluded for the 2019-20 season. This will allow the game to move forward and to commence planning for next season. Our County Football Associations (CFAs) will be supporting grassroots leagues over the coming days to determine how they should close out their current competitions.
“Where appropriate, the above decisions will be put to The FA Council for ratification.
“Throughout this period we continue to seek guidance in respect of the government’s financial support packages relative to COVID-19 and how they are applicable to clubs in the NLS, the women’s football pyramid and the wider grassroots game.”