Is the non-league football season over? Leagues suggest 'null and void' outcome now
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Some non-league football could be halted in England very soon after the Trident Leagues - Southern, Northern and Isthmian, suggested such this afternoon. The leagues represent steps 3 and 4 of the non-league pyramid only.
In a statement they said they held the view that the season should "cease immediately and be declared null and void." Clubs will however be surveyed before a final decision is made, although no fixtures will be played in any of these three divisons before March 6 at the earliest!
This statement impacts on Step 3 and 4 clubs, Leiston, Lowestoft, Needham Market, Bury, AFC Sudbury, and Felixstowe & Walton, in Suffolk. And Dereham in Norfolk, who play at Step 4, while a host of Essex clubs will be affected. Brightlingsea in Step 3, Maldon, Witham, Heybridge, Coggeshall, Canvey and plenty of other Essex clubs at Step 4.
Steps 5 & 6 are also set to be surveyed on their thoughts.
Should the season be declared null and void at these levels of the game however, it is likely most other leagues may follow suit, although not at Steps 1 or 2, the National League, including King's Lynn, who are regarded as elite clubs.
Leiston joint boss Darren Eadie said this week.
"Everyone is in same boat and it is really difficult to fathom out what could and should be done.
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"Even the top people in the leagues don't really know what's going on.
"My heart is telling me I want to play football, but my head is saying we are going to be scrapped again."
Leiston have played just eight league fixtures in the Southern League Premier Central Division and haven't played since early November - they need to play 42 games to fit in a full campaign!
Meanwhile AFC Sudbury boss Mark Morsley has already commented: "I frankly don't see any chance of us starting up at all. In fact, the sooner this season is officially declared over than the better, because I can't see anything happening in the foreseeable future."
Lowestoft Town boss Jamie Godbold said this week:
"I don't think it is looking very good, in terms of starting up again. It might be better for a decision to be made soon, so that we can work towards next season.
"The biggest problem is not knowing, and the situation with the virus suggests that it's not going to get any better for a long time."
Meanwhile, Long Melford boss Jamie Bradbury said the leagues should have seen this coming: "In my view they shouldn't have expunged the results from last season. Instead, we should have rolled over into this season and effectively had a full season over the two years.
"And that's not really me just talking in hindsight. There should have been the foresight to see this coming, that this season would be disrupted again."