Doswell not happy with National League decision

Havant & Waterlooville Manager Paul Doswell has vented his fury over the decision to not allow Play-Offs at Step 2, the National leagues North and South Divisions.

His side were in 2nd place in the National League South at the time of the early end to the campaign and clearly Doswell was expecting to have a stab at earning a promotion place.

His statement via Twitter reads;

Firstly congratulations to Wealdstone and Kings Lynn Town on their deserved promotion via PPG which I entirely support.

Amazing isn’t it that the night before our meeting with National League they miraculously receive guidance from a government department to inform them that sadly Step 2 are not considered elite sports people but Step 1 is! The guidance for a return to elite sport is ‘those people who derive an income from sport’. To my knowledge every Step 2 club pays income to their players known as salaries.

I guarantee that the National League and FA have jumped onto this guidance as it’s clear from day one they wanted to effectively null and void Step 2 and not relegate from the National League. Just listen to Jim Parmenters non-stop rhetoric on the subject.

It’s no coincidence that Chorley FC are the sacrificial lambs, the only team in non-league to be actually relegated!! Let’s see the actual evidence that this was really government advice and whether the FA and National League even tried on Step 2’s behalf to convince this department that we do derive income from playing!

It was always Tattersalls easiest option not to cross swords with AFC Fylde or Ebbsfleet United and the EFL vote actually turned this into a massive problem for him and his board.

I’m not into conspiracy theories but what a coincidence this advice came through the day before our meeting, despite this government advice for return to sport having been published for some time. To then be told we are lucky on this basis not to have to play the play-offs as no Step 2 club can afford them was even more remarkable!

I wrote in the Non League Paper that it was a disgrace what happened to Steps 3-7, through null and void, but in essence that is what has happened in the National League North and South.

There are four clubs who definitely want to compete in the play offs in our division and it will be a travesty if the National League and FA don’t make a representation to the government department, who supposedly made this incorrect judgement. Our local MP will be made aware of this and I’m sure will get to the truth on this situation.

To all the other play off teams keep fighting this flimsiest excuse ever put to deny us all the chance to salvage something from this unreal season.




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