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Fury as second league has been made null & void with immediate effect

There is fury expressed by fans this week as a second league has unfortunately been made null & void with immediate effect.

The Lincolnshire Football League (Step 7) has been made null & void. It comes after the West Lancashire League recently went with the same decision. County FA’s are liaising with all Regional Feeder Leagues (Step 7) about how to conclude their seasons.

Various county league organisations have been sent a survey in order to give the FA a better idea what should happen to the 2020/21 season with many not even halfway through the campaign due to the pandemic.

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Clubs are to be asked by the FA to complete a survey as to how the current season should be concluded.

It came as Sport England answer questions over non leagues 14m rescue package, which can be seen HERE.

Mark Frost, who is the chairman of the Leagues Committee which oversees Steps 5-6 of the National League System, emailed a newsletter to leagues and clubs across England who play at that level.

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It read: “We held a meeting of Leagues Committee on the 5th January 2021 to in the main, discuss the current lockdown imposed throughout the country. It is apparent to us all, that with the current restrictions in place any resumption of the NLS in a manner that provides the clubs with safety coupled with the ability to admit supporters and to have secondary spend, means that completing the 2020/2021 season is becoming increasingly doubtful.

“We are mindful that the Clubs and yourselves need to be advised as to what our plans are to see if there is any possibility to play out this season, or alternatively to be able to advise as to how and when this season is concluded.

“To this end, we decided that as with Steps 3 and 4, we will be issuing via yourselves a survey for the clubs to complete that will give us the information that we can consider to assist us making our recommendation to FA Council as to how we conclude the season. To be clear, within the survey we are not asking the clubs to vote on any specific decision, we are simply using the survey to gather the views of the clubs. We are mindful from information coming back to us from yourselves that extending the season into June would not be feasible. We can advise that this is also the view of the Step 3 and 4 Leagues.

“So… we will send a copy of the survey to you for your Boards to have advance sight of the survey, before its publication via yourselves to the clubs, which will be sent shortly. Once we have received the results, the Leagues Committee will meet and make its decision upon a recommendation to FA Council. We will then call a meeting of the Step 5 & 6 Leagues to advise you as to our decision.

“The county FAs will be liaising with the Regional Feeder Leagues as to how they may decide what is the best options for themselves to conclude their seasons.”

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The Northern League since responded and clarified that their preferred option is to end the season with immediate effect, making it null & void again.

Their statement read: “Clubs were today sent a Football Association survey which asks for their views on how the current season should be concluded.

“Accompanying the survey is the preferred option of the League Management Committee (LMC) following a special meeting which was held tonight.

“The LMC has fully considered the document and various options put forward within it and wholeheartedly agrees with the statement made by FA Leagues Committee that a pre-condition of any resumption should be that all clubs are able to admit paying spectators to Phase 2 levels (30% of the minimum grading requirement – as per the NLS Return to Football Guidance) and be able to access secondary income streams such as bar income, which mirrors the overall view of clubs in the Ebac Northern League’s recent survey of its clubs, the results of which were passed on to the FA.

“Having evaluated all the options on offer and the implications for our clubs it is the considered opinion of the LMC that in the current circumstances the only viable option is to declare the current season null and void and aim to get a full 21/22 season completed commencing in early August 2021.

“Should the situation improve more quickly than is expected, the League would look to offer some competitive football in the form of a cup competition in April/May to enable clubs to recoup some of the missed income and re-engage with supporters but this wouldn’t be mandatory and would only be considered if safe to do so.”

Fans reacted with fury as one league announced that they plan to end as null & void with immediate effect…

@do1_1982: Why make a 2nd season null and void, pathetic from the @theofficialnl, why can’t the season just be restarted in July/August with the current games and points valid?Or is that too much common sense? Surely that gives a better chance of actually finishing a season in 21/22

@ChrisSilvestr: What is your role if it is not to facilitate competitive competition? Null and void is the antithesis of your existence. It was a huge mistake last season and would be unforgivable again. Who knows what might happen next season? I simply do not understand this position.

@JayBee24271: Last season shouldn’t have been voided….it should have started again when possible and if this season was affected by covid at least last season would have been finished and we’d have only lost 1 season not 2 !!!

@ShieldsMPSAFC: Hopefully the clubs reject your ridiculous suggestion of null and void. Merge last season’s results, restart in August, PPG. They are all better options than just writing seasons off. Open your minds, be creative. Time for a new paradigm

@MacMenUnite: Why donf we start fhe season last week in july, warmer and lighr nights and getting games in early

@andy_welsh11: totally agree again players will do 6-8 weeks pre season surely get the new season up and running earlier

@KivoLee: So no football til August? The game is an integral part of people’s social life – players, supporters will be itching to play when lockdown is over, be it March or May.

@SurreyWyvern: I really don’t think we need to make ANY decisions until mid-March.

@Cornishfootball: So if the result of the club survey is to continue in August 2021, will the LMC go with the clubs choice?

@swpleague: The SWP board have stated to it’s clubs that we have no preference, if majority want null and void or roll over until August we can live with either. Our only concern is whether its practical to reach sufficient games for PPG, we don’t believe it is with current restrictions etc

@MarcusBrody15: Complete rubbish. The only viable option is to restart this season in August. Less fixtures, no need to replay games already completed, more chance of completion with weather & Covid delays.

@rgandy2_gandy: Why wait for August ?

@jasonhamo71: Like ive said previous we are 2 yrs in an fa commitment of re structure FA COMMITMENT ..we should out of 2 seasons got this sorted …im sorry our league committee should be null & void

@lowerbreck: Pause and complete your current season from August when you want to start a new one. We all have sponsorship obligations to fulfil and another Null/Void will cripple a lot of clubs.

@SteetonJose as the league want to end as null & void: Let’s just throw more money down the drain – clubs have shelled out a lot of money again for a season that hasn’t happened – this season should continue at all costs, even if we start again in August

@GrumpyNige: How many of their clubs and fans did they ask. Seems they just want an easy option as do @SouthernLeague1. Many of us fans think there is no need to rush a decision and the @FA survey allows for that.

@RichGiblin: What is this fascination with starting new seasons?!!! Maybe finish one of the two we had suspended first

@spuddy1878: Nothing at all to gain by doing it now.

@andysharratt: ‘Aim to get a full season’ is, whilst vague, the key thing. No one knows if that is anything like achievable. Probably won’t be.

@John_Albon5: Very sensible

@RogerLa63835713: Very negative to me and you can bet the other two steps 3 and 4 leagues will now do the same which will affect steps 5 and 6 leagues from doing something far more positive and sensible if as is likely they wish to do so.

@NeilSmythe: Absolute joke.

@EdgwareTownFC: Better option would be what the @HellenicLeague are proposing which is resume THIS season in August or September then start a third season with the possibility of that being cancelled

@royhanley1: Strange approach as everything is such an unknown at the moment. Football is about seeing something tangible – good or bad- for those involved, clubs & fans need something to focus on. N&V in January doesn’t help and seems very premature.

@GrahamG14843952: Absolutely IDIOTIC. They want a second “null & void” season ? If the “powers that be” hadn’t made such a stupid, rushed “knee-jerk” reaction last March – we could’ve had just ONE complete season, which would’ve run from August ’19 to October ’20 !! #NonLeague

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