National League: Number of promotion places 'could be changed'

By Ian DennisBBC Radio 5 Live senior football reporter
Harrogate Town
Harrogate Town were second behind Barrow in the National League table when the regular season was ended

National League clubs have been notified that the number of promotion places across their three divisions could potentially be changed because of the disruption caused by coronavirus.

A letter sent to all 68 clubs on Monday warned that if either the National League play-offs do not take place, or League Two in the English Football League (EFL) is not completed, then "it is quite possible that the promotion place for a play-off winner could be jeopardised".

It emerged on Friday that if the EFL is unable to finish their season then they are likely not to relegate Stevenage and only accept one club from the National League.

The play-offs were introduced in 2002-03 to decide the second promotion place and National League clubs have until Friday lunchtime to share their views on the feasibility of going ahead with them.

After that, the National League Board will decide whether to postpone the play-offs and see if they can find a way to play them at a later date or cancel them.

Once that decision has been made, then they may need to make a decision on the clubs that qualify for the play-offs.

In the letter, they outline there is no formal system to determine the final league tables across the National League, National League North and National League South.

But they mention three possible scenarios: to expunge all results, confirm clubs' final league placing as of now or to calculate them on a mathematical formula. Any such formula would have to be approved by the FA Council.

A final decision is expected early next week.

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