The Board of Directors of The North West Counties Football League held an emergency meeting this evening following the announcement from The Football Association that Season 2019/20 has ended and that the campaign has been declared null and void with all playing records expunged and promotion and relegation being postponed.
The Board acknowledges that we are currently in a global crisis situation that is unprecedented in modern times, and that difficult decisions have to be made. That said, the Board is disappointed in the decision of The FA’s League’s Committee, both in relation to timing of the announcement, which appeared to be rushed, and the lack of clarity the announcement brings, leaving more questions than answers.
The League’s Board understands that there is no ability to appeal this decision under the National League System Rules, however we will be writing to The FA to register our disappointment and to get further information on why they have made the decision and why they discounted other options that were suggested.
The League Chairman attended a meeting of Step 5 and 6 League’s on Tuesday afternoon in which we were told the decision had already been taken to end the season immediately. This was done by the League’s Committee and the Alliance Committee (Steps 1-4). We were also informed that ideally the NLS should be consistent on how this was implemented but this has not happened with The National League (Steps 1-2) looking to finish their campaign at a later date. The Chairman expressed concerns at that meeting on the unintended consequences of ending the season and subsequently wrote to The FA with further concerns, but no response was received. It is his belief that the decision had already been made by other parties prior to that meeting, and the outcome of the discussions with the Step 5 & 6 Leagues was a Fait Accompli.
The League are now considering the financial implications of this decision and other important matters that need further clarification and will communicate to clubs in due course. The future stability of football at Step 5 and 6 is in severe doubt at this moment in time, and decisions need to be made which secure the future of the League and its member clubs as we experience one of the most difficult times in our history.