Isthmian League board believe season should be terminated - clubs will be consulted

The board of the Isthmian League - along with their Southern and Northern League counterparts - believe the non-league season for step three and four clubs should be terminated and declared null and void.

Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 10:00 am
Step three and four leagues look set to be declared null and void

Clubs are to be asked if they agree - or if they think there is an alternative.

The view of the league boards is no surprise - with fixtures for step three and four clubs having been on hold since the start of November. Some clubs have played only half a dozen games and there is no prospect of them restarting before the end of February.

Leagues at step three and below had last season made null and void at a much later stage, a move that proved highly controversial. But with Covid infection rates increasing across the country, it would be a major surprise if many clubs said they wanted to somehow keep the season alive.

Step five and six clubs across the country - including Southern Combination League sides - will also be consulted over the plan to terminate the season.

Once the FA has received the results from step three to six clubs, the Leagues Committee and the FA Council will make a decision.

It will lead to worries over whether some clubs can survive a second unfinished season, and makes the £14m rescue package the government has promised for step three to six clubs even more vital.

Statements on the boards' view on the 20-21 season were put out by the Isthmian, Southern and Northern Leagues around midday on Friday.

The Isthmian League statement said: "The Pitching In Isthmian League - indeed each of the Trident Leagues - have today communicated with their member clubs as follows:

"I am writing to update you with regard to the continuation, or otherwise, of the 2020/21 League season, given the latest position concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Board of the Isthmian Football League has, together with our fellow Trident Leagues, reviewed the implications of the latest government lockdown. The matter was also discussed at length by The FA’s Alliance Committee earlier this week.

"In order to reach a decision that will apply across Steps 3 & 4 in the National League System, and which is informed by the views of all clubs at Steps 3 & 4, you will shortly be asked by the Football Association to provide your club’s views on whether the 2020/21 season should be terminated and, if not, what the alternative should be. This will take the form of a short survey.

"Independent of that survey, all three of the Trident League’s boards hold the view that the season should cease immediately and be declared null and void.

"The ultimate decision lies with The FA Council, following a proposal made by the Alliance Committee but no proposal will be drafted until Clubs’ views have been collated and assessed.

In the meantime, the Isthmian Football League is postponing all fixtures up to and including Saturday 6 March since there is no suggestion that the national lockdown will be lifted prior to said date.

"The League will continue to provide its Member Clubs with updates as and when it is able to do so. In the meantime, take care and stay safe. - Yours sincerely, N R Robinson, Chairman."