Majority of National League clubs expected to vote in favour of terminating season

Chorley’s plea to continue the 2020/21 season until its conclusion appears likely to fall on deaf ears.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 10:52 am
Mike Calveley, left, and Harry Cardwell in action for Chorley this season in the National League North (photo: Stefan Willoughby)
Mike Calveley, left, and Harry Cardwell in action for Chorley this season in the National League North (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

All 66 clubs in the National League clubs across all three divisions have been given 28 days to vote on whether the campaign should be scrapped.

The Magpies – whose coffers have been boosted significantly by their remarkable run to the FA Cup fourth round – have already declared their wish to continue playing this season to a conclusion, calling an early termination of the campaign as “inexcusable”.

However, it appears their view is currently not shared by the majority of their fellow clubs.

The current campaign is in the middle of a two-week suspension after a number of clubs displayed discontent about the level of funding available to help them through the rest of the season.

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant clubs have not been able to generate any matchday income, with all games being played behind closed doors.

In the first half of this season, clubs in the National League – which is classed as elite level alongside the Premier League and the Football League – have been in receipt of an £10m Government bailout to help them deal with running costs.

And a £11 million rescue package has been put together to aid clubs over the remainder of the season but the difference is that this one is available only as loans to the majority of clubs.

This has been deemed as unacceptable with many clubs unwilling to take on debt in this current climate, believing that they are better off terminating the season early.

On Monday night, the National League distributed resolutions for member clubs to consider.

Clubs must first vote on whether or not they should group the higher-tier National League Premier with non-league’s second tier, National League North and South, in a single vote or decide each tier’s fate separately.

They are then asked whether or not to continue playing, or call the season off and suspend promotion and relegation.

If the vote is decided on a tier-by-tier basis, at least 22 of the 43 clubs in National League North and South would need to agree for the season to be brought to a premature conclusion.

This weekend, the season is scheduled to continue with the Magpies heading to Brackley Town.