Taking on the FA

NLP (2)


This weekend’s Non-League paper was full of great debate over the decision by the FA to null and void the season for Steps 3-6. Now I know I covered this over the past few days but since the news has been digested by clubs, there has been some big reactions coming out.

As I’ve said before and always will when writing these delicate articles, the health of everyone in this nation MUST come first and we must beat this virus. Football however is turning up some interesting talking points despite there being no games going on.

The latest we see and hear coming out of this decision made last week is a number of things, if the decision has been made too early, were all clubs consulted in a fair amount of time, is there a right of appeal for one club or every club, some of the things I will look at below.

I still believe the points per game ratio would be the correct way to go forward, had we been talking that most clubs hadn’t completed 75% of their games, then that’s not my thinking. I can totally understand the issues with players and contracts slightly higher up the pyramid from Step 4 and above, there are a lot of complications that would need to be ironed out, but were they ever even considered?

PPG would go against those starting to turn the tide which some clubs invariably do at this stage of the season, but that option makes you draw the line somewhere. There would be opposition to this I know, but is it a better scenario than just declaring this whole season never happened?

I’ve seen people call the decision ‘lazy’ and ‘easy’, a cop-out for not needing to go into detail and find the right conclusion, make the decision early without understanding where all clubs sit on the matter. I know full well some are already struggling and for them clarity is better sooner rather than later, it’s difficult whatever way this goes, such an unprecedented situation.

Null and void has now caught the attention of clubs unhappy with this decision. I listened on Sunday evening to the Worthing Supporters Association podcast, Rebel Yell, for more research with guests including Rebels chairman Barry Hunter, Hastings Utd CEO Billy Wood and South Shields chairman Geoff Thompson and it was interesting to listen to their views. Granted they are all clubs who have a vested interest as all three were winning their respective leagues.

To ask those clubs who have stayed unbeaten until the suspension and those who got themselves into great title winning positions to repeat that all over again is hard to take, the likelihood of it happening again is low, people also talk about the volunteer hours put in at every game and the money clubs have spent to get themselves in position and shape.

As I put this article together, the letter to the FA has been made public which I have read and is signed by 64 clubs, the outcome of that will surely be known within a few days and I await to see the response.

Whatever decision of the three options that was decided upon would have caused conflict. If the FA follow protocol across all levels then the National League and EFL should be made to follow suit and void themselves of 2019-20, the Premier League should really be the same as the integrity of the promotion and relegation scenarios are impacted at all levels. If nothing existed, then we are all level and re-set ready to go whenever that might be.

Of course at the top level it’s not simple either with added commercial and tv revenues etc, but with the wealth there that end of the game will survive, now imagine how the game could look if a percentage of that wealth drops down to secures the future of 100-200 clubs. Some don’t deserve it for gambling and living outside their means you can argue, and this is now the perfect time for the game to get itself back to reality when play continues.

By the time this goes to print the National League will have met again and there should be clarity for those clubs, again some will be against and some will be for the decision, whatever happens this will rumble on for a while, great column inches for me…………










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