Results for the 2019-20 season will be expunged for non-league divisions below the National League and National League North and South, the Football Association has announced.
The same applies to women’s football below the Women’s Super League and Championship, with no promotion and relegation, while grassroots football has been brought to a close for the season.
South Shields, who sit 12 points clear at the top of the Northern Premier Division, tweeted the statement accompanied by the message: “Make of this what you will.”
We’ve issued a statement on how the 2019-20 season will be concluded in light of the COVID-19 pandemic: https://t.co/5DWXAmE1kW
— The FA (@FA) March 26, 2020
The FA remains hopeful of being able to complete the men’s and women’s FA Cup campaigns, FA Trophy and FA Vase, while discussions are ongoing regarding what will happen with the National League, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship.
The FA statement read: “The NLS and the Women’s Football Pyramid were able to build a consensus amongst their leagues and, where possible, aimed to create a consistent approach across all leagues, whilst taking into account the unique characteristics of each individual league.
“As a result, The FA and NLS Steps 3 to 6 have reached a consensus that their 2019/20 season will now be brought to an end, and all results will be expunged. This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between NLS Steps 3 to 6, and no promotion to NLS Step 2.
“With the Emirates FA Cup, Women’s FA Cup, Buildbase FA Trophy and Buildbase FA Vase 2019/20 all at advanced stages, the FA is reviewing all options as we seek to complete these competitions whenever it is safe and appropriate to do so.
“Clubs involved are close to reaching a major final and, for those clubs and supporters, we will do all we can to keep the Wembley dream alive.
“The FA will continue to assist and support the National League to determine the outcome of its 2019/20 season as quickly as possible.
“We remain in consultation with the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship board and clubs regarding the most appropriate way to complete the current season.”
Make of this what you will 👇 https://t.co/XR0wnhir13
— South Shields FC (@SouthShieldsFC) March 26, 2020
The restructure of the National League will also now be deferred until the start of the 2021/22 season while the FA is seeking guidance on how the Government’s financial support packages during the coronavirus crisis can be applied to football.
“These are challenging circumstances for English football and all decisions taken are in the best interests of the game and in consultation across key stakeholders,” read the statement.
“Our primary concern will always be for the safety and welfare of clubs, players, staff, officials, volunteers and supporters during this unprecedented time.
“Today’s steps take into account the financial impact during this uncertain period whilst considering the fairest method on how the sporting outcomes for the season will be decided, with the integrity of the leagues in mind.”