St Albans City and others join forces in plea to continue season

A general view of Clarence Park

St Albans City are among a number of clubs who have written to the National League. - Credit: PETER SHORT

St Albans City are one of the clubs who have written to the National League saying they should be allowed to play their season to a conclusion - even in an adapted form. 

In total 18 clubs from the National League North and National League South, one less than voted against making the season null and void,  have signed the letter, including Hemel Hempstead Town and Chelmsford City from the south and northern sides AFC Fylde, Chorley and York City.

The letter to the league's general manager Mark Ives said: "Following the results of the voting on the National League resolutions we write to you on behalf of the clubs that voted to fulfil the 2020-2021 National League North and South season. 

"We feel the options presented in the resolutions did not provide an alternative solution to a null and void scenario and the result of resolution three was very closely divided, with a very small majority determining that the season will be ended with immediate effect. 

"We believe that the 19 clubs at step two that wish to continue, should be afforded an opportunity to do so, with playoffs and promotion, as per normal." 

They set out various reasons to back their argument, including the lack of promotion and relegation between steps one, something they say is "a fundamental value which the league has worked hard for over the years and which was the motivating driver in reaching a sporting conclusion to last season". 

They also say that the funding given in the last three months of last year was "in order to prepare and proceed with league matches behind closed doors", conditions which they maintain are still in effect and that they have an "obligation" to carry on with. 

In conclusion, the letter said: "We respectfully request that the league strongly consider that the two divisions at step two continue playing their seasons, either separately or as one. 

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"We believe that this is in the best interests of all National League members allowing the league to cater to the needs and drivers of all clubs in a sympathetic manner, allowing those who wish to continue to do so, and those who cannot or do not wish to continue to end their season. 

"Promotion and relegation can be maintained between the National League and National League North and South in order to recover a full National League of 24 clubs next season, as well as maintaining the integrity of our relationship with the EFL."