Boards of the Southern, Northern Premier and Isthmian leagues want to void non-league football again
- Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo
The Southern League, Northern Premier League and Isthmian League are pushing for an immediate end to their respective season - although clubs will get a small say in the final outcome.
The three, collectively known as the trident leagues, drew criticism for the speed they declared last year's campaign null and void, the announcement coming just three days after Boris Johnson brought in the first national lockdown in March.
Any voiding of the current campaign would mean no promotion and relegation once again and would also have serious consequences for leagues at step five and below such as the Spartan South Midlands League, the Eastern Counties League and the United Counties League, forcing their hand to follow suit.
Fixtures in the step three and four divisions have already been postponed up until March 6 and while clubs will be sent a questionnaire, the outcome of the vote will "inform" the final decision only.
A joint statement from the three said: "[The three boards have] reviewed the implications of the latest government lockdown.
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"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 three and four in the National League System, and which is informed by the views of all clubs at [those steps], clubs will shortly be asked by the Football Association to provide views on whether the 2020-21 season should be terminated and, if not, what the alternative should be.
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"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 all fixtures up to and including Saturday, March 6, since there is no suggestion that the national lockdown will be lifted prior to said date.
"The leagues will continue to provide clubs with updates as and when we are able to do so."
Options that could be on the table as an alternative to voiding the season include points-per-game and an extension deep into the summer months.
Points-per-game would unlikely be a popular choice as some leagues have yet to play 50 per cent of the season.
The National League and both the National League North and South divisions would be allowed to continue as they are considered 'elite'.