What the Contenders think should happen

With the remaining National League fixtures officially cancelled, attention now turns to ‘how’ the season will be concluded.

The National League board held talks on Friday to discuss what options should be put forward to clubs to vote on.

Here’s what the clubs challenging for promotion have said about the decision to immediately finish the campaign…

Barrow AFC

The Bluebirds, led by Ian Evatt, have been top of the league for most of the season are hoping that they can still be promoted to League Two.

Evatt, revealing that they voted for the campaign to immediately finish, said: “Some may say that is a huge gamble for us being where we are, but it is the right thing to do for football.

“The most important thing is that clubs survive, I get that, but secondary we feel like we have been the best team over a long period of time and we hope that people see it the same way.”

Harrogate Town

The north Yorkshire side are second and four points behind Barrow. They voted against the proposal to cancel the remaining matches.

Manager Simon Weaver said: “It’s in our league rules that two teams go up, and it’s in the EFL rules that two come down. The next vote will be to decide how we determine who goes up and I think it will be very interesting to see how it’s all resolved.”

Notts County

The third-placed Magpies said they are “disappointed” that the season has been brought to a premature end and indicated they still have hopes of being able to complete the play-off matches.

“While we appreciate the views of other clubs and respect the overall outcome of this vote as a representation of opinion across the three divisions, our stance has always been that the National League should operate in tandem with the EFL due to the intrinsic link between the two leagues,” the club said.

“To be clear, while all remaining scheduled league matches have been cancelled, we are not ruling out a return to action in some form between now and the formal conclusion of the 2019-20 campaign.”

Yeovil Town

The Glovers, in fourth, are thought to be one of the clubs who are yet to return their vote but because there is already a majority in favour of the decision it will not affect the outcome.

Chairman Scott Priestnall said he did not believe that clubs should have been asked to vote and said it was not his intention to.

Boreham Wood

Admirably, Danny Hunter, chairman of fifth-placed Boreham Wood, put his club’s position aside when discussing the topic. He said: “I don’t see how you can have promotion, play-offs or relegation. People have to accept things for how they are.

“Would we be a loser because we are in a play-off spot? Yes we would be, but there’s a worldwide pandemic. The one thing I’ve managed to do is keep my staff safe, keep them paid and keep them on board. That’s far more important than a play-off game.”

FC Halifax Town

Manager Pete Wild says his team, who are sixth, must be given a shot at the play-offs.

“There now needs to be a completion to the season play-off wise, relegation-wise, promotion-wise,” he said. “There has to be in my opinion.

“I’m frustrated how it’s come out, that all clubs haven’t voted yet, so how can you come out with a vote without it being finalised?”

Stockport County

The Hatters, who are in the last play-off spot in seventh, said they wanted to resume the season when safe to do so.

“However, this resolution and the voting behaviour clearly demonstrates the precarious nature of finances at this level of football.

“Our hope in these difficult times, is that clubs come together, those with things to play for and those that don’t, to try and find a solution that upholds sporting integrity as much as possible in determining the sporting outcomes of the season.”


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