The National League’s three divisions have been suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus crisis.
The leagues controversially opted to play a day after the Premier League and EFL had announced their games were off due to COVID-19 but called a halt to their matches after that weekend on March 16.
Discussions as to how best finish the season have continued and the National League has now confirmed its three leagues are subject to an undetermined postponement.
The National League, National League North and National League South all fall under this ruling.
A statement read: “The National League Board met earlier today and has reviewed its prior decision to suspend the competition until at least 3rd April 2020.
“In consideration of the very serious and unprecedented national public health emergency caused by the coronavirus, the board has taken the decision to suspend the National League, National League North and National League South competitions indefinitely.
“The National League is currently obtaining specialist legal advice, is consulting regularly with The Football Association and other stakeholders, and is committed to involving its member clubs in a pending decision on how best to conclude the 2019/20 season.”
Give COVID-19 the red card
The quicker we work together to stop coronavirus spreading, the sooner we can get back into the pubs, the gyms and stadiums and arenas to see live sport again…
STAY AT HOME. Only leave for the following purposes:
- to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
- to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
- for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
- to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary
For more info and tips, visit the NHS website.
The government has also issued further detail on what we can do during lockdown.
Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.
How the final standings – and crucially, promotion and relegation – in the three divisions will be determined is yet to be decided, although this latest announcement suggests it’s likely that the season will be made null and void.
This is something that has infuriated Ian Evatt, manager of National League table-toppers Barrow. He claims his side ‘wouldn’t recover’ from not being able to go up.
“I don’t think it would recover. That’s being frank,” he admitted.
“Now if this was halfway through the season or under, you can completely understand voiding a season. But we’re talking about, from some clubs’ perspective, seven games. Seven games away from completing the season.
“You cannot, you cannot, null and void it.”
Last week, the FA voided the season for non-league divisions below the National League level and for women’s football below the Women’s Super League and Championship, due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Premier League and EFL are still hopeful of resuming their seasons later this year. It’s not clear when it will be safe to resume football in England.