The non-league decision that the EFL could apply to Stoke City and the Championship


The National League, as well as the National Leagues North and South, have been suspended indefinitely on Tuesday afternoon as clubs in the Premier League and EFL await decisions from their respective governing bodies.

With many levels of English football’s non league already being declared null and void by the FA, the highest tiers have now taken the decision to take away the proposed return date and will not resume action until it is completely safe to do so.

Stoke City and the rest of the Championship are waiting for decisions to be made by the FA and EFL in the coming days and weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic which has forced the suspension of the season.

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The Potters still have nine matches to play and are currently sitting in 17th place, three points above the relegation zone.

The end of April has been mentioned as a potential date to resume the campaign, but there is an acceptance within the footballing community that this is increasingly unlikely and an expectation that that date will be pushed back further.

For the National League, that expected return date has now been removed and now there is no planned resumption specified.

In a statement, the National League said: “The National League board met earlier today and has reviewed its prior decision to suspend the competition until at least the 3rd of 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 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.”

General view of the bet365 Stadium South Stand

It’s understood that the EFL have written to all of its member clubs this week to inform them that no group training should be restarting until April 14 at the very earliest.

The EFL will be meeting later this week to discuss the best way to proceed with the season following the coronavirus shutdown.

With concerns building over the financial future of clubs unable to bring in any revenue through gate receipts or off-the-pitch activity, there will be plenty to discuss.





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