The FA make a decision on the Step 3-6 season with the National League North and South already made null and void earlier this month.
There have been numerous meetings involving the Football Association and league officials since Monday, when the government announced how and when sport could return as the country comes out of lockdown.
Prime Minster Boris Johnson announced that outdoor sport could resume on the 29th of March but ruled that fans could not return to grounds before the 17th of May at the earliest.
With step three and four clubs consistently saying that they cannot operate without paying fans, that would appear to have dashed any lingering hopes there would be time to fit in enough games at that level to constitute a full season.
The boards of the Isthmian, Southern and Northern leagues had already expressed the view – before a clubs’ survey conducted in January – that they felt the season at their level of the game should be terminated.
The FA were also been asked to consider proposals from Project Non League, suggesting using results from the two unfinished seasons to work out points-per-game tables and promote the teams who have shown over that time they deserve it.
But then we don’t even know if there will be teams relegated or promoted from step two of non league, leaving many questions to be answered.
FA STATEMENT ON STEP 3-6 SEASON:
The FA’s Alliance and Leagues Committees have now considered the large amount of data and information submitted by clubs across the National League System (NLS) Steps 3-6 as part of a survey to gather views on the continuation or conclusion of the 2020-21 league season, in addition to the information set out in the Government’s roadmap this week.
Submissions were made by 99.1% of clubs at Steps 3 and 4, and 95.8% of clubs at Steps 5 and 6. We would like to thank the clubs for submitting their views and the time taken in providing responses during what we appreciate is an incredibly challenging period for everyone.
The results of the survey showed that over 76% of all clubs across Steps 3-6 indicated a preference to curtail the 2020-21 league season if it could not be restarted with limited spectator numbers and hospitality before 1 April 2021.
During this process, taking into account views of clubs and leagues it was decided that extending the 2020-21 league season beyond the end of May 2021 would not be a viable option. This was due to various considerations, including the financial implications for many clubs, player contracts and the extent of the fixture scheduling issues caused by the national lockdown and various postponements which had resulted in there being 81% of matches left to complete for Steps 3 and 4, and 75% at Steps 5 and 6.
Taking into account the survey results and the ongoing impact of Covid-19, which continues to adversely affect incomes for clubs due to restrictions on both spectators and hospitality, The FA’s Alliance and Leagues Committees have reached a consensus that subject to the approval of FA Council, the 2020-21 league season for Steps 3-6 of the NLS should be curtailed with immediate effect, with no further league matches taking place this season.
The Committees will now present their collective recommendations to The FA Council for ratification.
It has also been decided that subject to FA Council’s decision regarding the curtailment of the season at Steps 3 to 6, both committees will revisit discussions around a potential restructure at Steps 4-6 of the NLS, which was previously agreed and has been on hold since the 2019-20 season. A further update on this will be provided in due course.
Fans gave their reaction as the FA make a decision on the Step 3-6 season…
— Asa Wilkinson (@dodgeultra) February 24, 2021
See you in August pic.twitter.com/b2VsBwNmDs
— Walton & Hersham FC (@waltonhershamfc) February 24, 2021
@MarkVanMan72: The can’t be arsed to think of anything else route.
@daniel_tortoise: Two seasons wasted because of no effort to desire to think if any solution besides just scrapping it all. Disappointing, but entirely unsurprising.
@KivoLee: There has to be promotion and relegation somehow. Completely unfair to have likes of Jersey Bulls in same position as they were two years ago while teams without a win in the same timeframe stay put.
@IlGrandeToro: Let the clubs organise mini tournaments and cups between now and then of the season
@RossFootball: As predicted, TWO ruined seasons when there need only have been one
@JordonCrawford8: Another season null and voided.. more goals and assists chalked off like they never happened.. how frustrating, can’t wait to fast forward to a bit of normality and get back to pre season and playing again
@RussWWFC: Useless as ever, giving people nothing to look forward to. The null and void lovers in charge of our game have now wasted two seasons, proving themselves to be unfit to run the game time and time again.
@_Batesy_: Typical FA won’t share the results at all.. talk shit season should never of started should finished last season off and would got a full season in. Alot of time and money wasted.
@JamesParsons1: Roll on August… lockdowns, injuries, transfers. Can’t wait for normal football again. 21/22
@GWilson1000: What a shame. Here’s hoping the next few months go to plan and the 2021/22 campaign can begin in August, with supporters back in the grounds
@DavidBurton1971: What a shame. Didn’t have to be like this…could have finished season 19/20 back end of 2020. Then started season 20/21. To much like hard work for some one to work out I guess. Instead let’s waste two seasons
@SeanAlexanderr8: Not exactly surprised but how we’ve managed to lose 2 seasons to this is ridiculous.. too keen on starting a new season and not carrying over last years.. weak. Time for a 5 month pre pre season
@lisaannecampbel: Well of course they have, non league is nothing to FA. I knew this would happen!! Smaller, Non League sides get thrown under the bus! We care and work our arses off to get..well, Jacks*it… they’ve handled it all wrong and as usual non league suffers!!!