Confusion for clubs as FA deny season cancellation plans

PUBLISHED: 17:18 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:04 25 March 2020

A football on a pitch. Picture: Sam Cooper

A football on a pitch. Picture: Sam Cooper

Archant

The FA have declared that step five and six of the non-league pyramid will end immediately following the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Essex Senior League.

The Football Association has said no official decision has been made on the end of the season following reports it had decided to end it immediately.

The clubs in step five and six of the non-league pyramid held a web seminar on Tuesday (March 24) to discuss how the season would end following the Coronavirus outbreak.

Sidmouth Town, alongside Honiton Town, Axminster Town and Exmouth Town play their football in step five and six which is step nine and 10 of the overall league pyramid.

On Tuesday, the Essex Senior League put out a statement that following the web conference, the FA had decided to end the 2019/20 season immediately.

However, the FA has since denied a final decision has been made. An FA spokesperson said: “We remain in regular dialogue and consultation with all stakeholders regarding next steps across both the men’s and women’s National League pyramid and grassroots football.

“No official decision has been made yet. Our primary concern is for the safety and welfare of clubs, players, staff and supporters during this unprecedented time.

Football’s governing body also said a further announcement would be made at the appropriate time.

In the original Essex Senior League statement, which has since been deleted, it said: “Following on from the pre-arranged Webex meeting today with the FA and our colleagues in step five/six leagues, the FA have confirmed that the 2019/20 season must end immediately.

“The consensus was there is no option of any football being played for the rest of this season due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Even if the FA were to extend, it wasn’t going to be possible to complete remaining games, also subject to being allowed to socialise by May.”

The issue of promotion and relegation has yet to be decided and was described as a 50:50 split between a league table made of point per game or null and voiding the season.

If the season were to be decided by points per game, Sidmouth Town would be in 19th place on 0.57, marginally ahead of bottom-side Torrington on 0.56.

North Devon side Ilfracombe Town would be crowned champions having picked up 2.28 points per game while Bovey Tracey would jump from eighth to third.

If the season is voided, no teams will be promoted or relegated.


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