Coronavirus: Opposition grows among non-league clubs to ending season

By Ian DennisBBC Radio 5 Live senior football reporter
Jersey Bulls
Jersey Bulls scored 99 goals this season in Combined Counties League Division One and only conceded seven

A growing number of non-league clubs are prepared to lobby the Football Association after the decision to cancel the season for steps three to seven in the pyramid.

On Thursday, the FA said all results will be expunged with no promotion and relegation.

But within the space of 12 hours of that decision, over 30 clubs from all areas of the country had voiced their concerns and are willing to challenge the FA.

Thursday's decision is yet to be ratified by the FA council, who are due to meet next week via a video conference.

If the council gives its approval, it would mean no resumption to the season below National League North and South level.

In a post on social mediaexternal-link, the FA said: "The decision taken to end the 2019/20 season across Steps 3-7 of the National League System, the women's football pyramid and the wider grassroots game was made by committee representatives for the respective leagues, and was supported by The FA Board and The FA Women's Board.

"It will now go to The FA Council for ratification. We fully support the decision they came to during these challenging and unprecedented circumstances for English football."

Some men's teams, such as Jersey Bulls and Vauxhall Motors, had already secured promotion to step five from their respective leagues, but their achievements are likely to be cancelled.

Bulls boss Gary Freeman, whose side had won all 27 of their matches in the Combined Counties Football League Division One and were 20 points clear at the top, said he understood the FA's decision but it was "disappointing not be be rewarded".

However, he has not given up hope of seeing his side play at a higher level next season if the club can negotiate with the league to be "placed" in a different division "if appropriate".

"We are looking at different avenues to see if there is anything we can do," he told BBC Radio Jersey.

"We are feeling a little hard done by, but the FA - to be fair to them - had a tough decision to make as they were looking after the whole nation.

"They needed some sort of consistency through the leagues, so if they did allow promotion for one they would open a can of worms.

"The players are aware that we are too strong for this league and it will be a tough challenge to get going again, but if that is what we have to do, then we will knuckle down in the summer ready to go."

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