Further questions have been raised on the current state of Non-League Football after the National League clubs agreed to continue their season yesterday, although teams in the North and South divisions (level two of the non-league ladder) voted against carrying on.
That means Notts County will thankfully get to conclude their season, at the moment, and it is likely the National League teams will all fulfil their fixtures or at least play to a conclusion that could still potentially lead to promotion for the Magpies back into the football league. But the leagues below will be scrapped for a second successive campaign, this time unlike in 2019/20, results deemed null and void with no promotion or relegation.
That decision also leaves confusion in the lower tiers with those in the Northern Premier League (steps 3-4), Northern Counties East League (5,6) Midland Football League (5,6) and East Midlands Counties League (level 6) involving Notts clubs hugely effected, those currently participating in all levels of football below ‘elite’ have seen their seasons postponed in the UK under government persuasion and FA guidelines due to covid, it was hoped that competitions could resume in March but the concern for those participating is that nothing has been done to put any clarity on the matter.
Now that the North & South sections of the National League have ceased, the knock on effect will leave those gunning for promotion in the Northern Premier League, Southern, Isthmian and Midland League with nothing but silverware to play for, which means for the likes of Basford United, carrying on their push for the title without chance of promotion would potentially not be worthwhile financially. Clubs already losing a lot of money in attempt to climb up the football ladder will most likely vote for their seasons to cease too.
As we stand a tweet sent by @NonLeagueCrowd stated below:
Step 1 on-going
Step 2 null and void
Steps 3-6 who knows but seemingly heading one way
FA Trophy 2019-20 Final unplayed with one finalist now in the EFL
FA Trophy 2020-21 on-going
FA Vase 2019-20 Final unplayed
FA Vase 2020-21 suspended
In a statement read on the Notts County FC website the clubs board said “We are very pleased that the league’s consultation of member clubs in relation to the outcomes of the 2020-21 campaign will result in step one of the National League continuing. This, we feel, is a conclusion which protects the competition’s integrity and rewards the efforts of all clubs who have imparted great effort into the season so far. We’re also delighted for our loyal supporters who have backed us so staunchly from afar.”
But our non-league clubs below the Magpies however won’t quite be as pleased with the outcome in the National League, some local sides have got together with a plan B to potentially set up a mini competition in the East Midlands that will at least, bring football back should the respective leagues they are in decide to conclude their campaigns with immediate closure, with the likes of Carlton Town, Basford United and others hoping to be involved to at least give their players a chance to get back on the pitch, where they rightly should be, for the good of their own health and wellbeing that has hugely been effected by this tragic pandemic.
*Main image @Official_NCFC Notts County are happy with the outcome whilst others below are concerned.