CLUB STATEMENT: NPL statement regarding the continuation of the 2020/21 season

Following today’s announcement from the NPL regarding the continuation of the 2020/21 league season, club directors and coaching staff held an emergency zoom meeting at 2.00pm today to discuss the implications. 

The three Trident Leagues boards (Isthmian League, Southern League and Northern Premier League) have informed all the clubs at Steps 3 and 4 that in their view the season should cease immediately and be declared null and void. 

But the FA, who will make the ultimate decision, have decided to seek the views of all clubs on whether the 20/21 season should be terminated and if not what alternatives may be considered. 

Immediately after leaving the meeting Chairman Dave Bowden commented; “ We feel it is incredibly important to update everyone associated with club on the issues and our thinking soon as things develop. The impact of this whole situation and serious likelihood of the season ending on the club is wide ranging. It affects our playing staff, fans and sponsors alike.” 

But the latest situation surrounding the covid-19 pandemic for all of us is grave and at no point should safety be compromised. So we discussed a few ideas that could possibly enable a situation where promotion and relegation were possible. 

One proposal of many discussed is to play a full round of games, (i.e. each team plays each other once) where the season recommences at the beginning of March and plays through until the end of May, in order that promotion and relegation can be decided. This of course would depend very much on a vast improvement in the covid situation, which is very uncertain.

Aggregating last seasons points total with this year, or consolidating a points per game were also under consideration. The club will therefore await the survey and put forward some alternatives. But all times we are extremely sensitive to the wider issues facing us all as we remain in lockdown.

Concluding, the  Chairman added; “On behalf of all the board, if the season does end as now seems more than likely, I can’t tell you how disappointed we would be for Danny, Stephen and all the players who have given their all over the last 2 years. None of us could have asked any more from them. It will be an even bigger challenge when the season resumes to maintain this momentum.”

This disappointment extends to our fans, sponsors, staff and volunteers who have been remarkable in their efforts for the club. In the meantime we continue to work on our planning on and off the pitch to resume playing football whenever that may be.

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