NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Southern League chiefs want the season to end immediately while similar outcome is likely at Step 5 and 6

Archie Sayer opens the scoring for Huntingdon Town against Blackstones in the last non-league game t

Archie Sayer opens the scoring for Huntingdon Town against Blackstones in the last non-league game to be played in this area on March 14. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONT - Credit: Archant

Southern League chiefs want to see the 2019/20 brought to an end amid the Coronavirus crisis.

Along with fellow Step 3 and Step 4 leagues – the Isthmian League and the Northern Premier League – they have called for the campaign to be halted with immediate effect.

Two local clubs – St Ives Town (Premier Division Central) and St Neots Town (Division One Central) play in the Southern League.

A statement released earlier today (Tuesday) confirmed: “The Alliance Leagues held the latest of several conference calls last night (Monday) after our own board, and those of the Isthmian and Northern Premier Leagues, met over the weekend to determine how we wish to proceed. We have also participated in calls with the Step 5/6 clubs.

“The Step 3 & 4 Leagues share clubs’ frustration that it is taking so long to determine whether the 2019/20 season is to end now, and if so on what basis. “To maintain the integrity of our competitions, we ideally need to apply one solution across all of the National League System. However, this may not be possible.

“The Southern, Isthmian and Northern Premier Leagues are unanimous in wanting to terminate the 2019-20 season immediately.

“Whether that is done on the basis of determining final placings via average points per game, or the season is declared null & void cannot be decided until the National League decides how it wishes to proceed.

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“Right now, the National League’s position is that they wish to be able to resume the 2019-20 season at some point. The feeder Leagues do not support this because our clubs do not have the financial resources to continue to honour player contracts indefinitely.

“The Southern, Isthmian and Northern Premier Leagues have therefore implemented the process to terminate the season. This has to be ratified by FA council, so there may be a short delay as the relevant documentation is submitted, distributed and approved. Therefore, the League’s desire is not the confirmed outcome.

“Whilst this process is ongoing, and once the National League has finalised how it wishes to proceed, competition issues can then be decided, together with the implications for promotion and relegation.”

It was announced earlier today that the Football Association has declared the season over at Step 5 and Step 6.

United Counties League chairman Alan Poulain made the revelation in an email to all member clubs.

It revealed a decision will now be made later this week on whether the 2019/20 campaign is simply declared null and void, or whether a points-per-game system will be employed to determined title-winners, promotion-winners and relegated sides.

Poulain later retracted that information in another message to clubs, although its contents are though to be accurate if a little premature.

Huntingdon Town play in Division One of the United Counties League and are liable to relegation as they sit second-bottom of the standings.

Godmanchester Rovers play in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division at Step 5 while Eynesbury Rovers operate in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division at the same level.