The 2019-20 Season is Over and all Results Expunged
National League System Update from the FA - 26th March
We have been working collaboratively with the National League System (NLS), the women’s football pyramid and the wider grassroots game since the outbreak of COVID-19 on how to conclude the 2019-20 season in the most appropriate way possible.
These are challenging circumstances for English football and all decisions taken are in the best interests of the game and in consultation across key stakeholders. Our primary concern will always be for the safety and welfare of clubs, players, staff, officials, volunteers and supporters during this unprecedented time.
Today’s steps take into account the financial impact during this uncertain period, whilst considering the fairest method on how the sporting outcomes for the season will be decided with the integrity of the leagues in mind.
National League System
The NLS and the women’s football pyramid were able to build a consensus amongst their leagues and, where possible, aimed to create a consistent approach across all leagues, whilst taking into account the unique characteristics of each individual league.
As a result, The FA and NLS steps three to six have reached a consensus that their 2019-20 season will now be brought to an end, and all results will be expunged. This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between NLS steps three to six, and no promotion to NLS step two.
These decisions will also apply to the leagues and clubs who play at NLS step seven.
We will continue to assist and support the National League (NLS steps one and two) to determine the outcome of its 2019-20 season as quickly as possible. The planned implementation of the restructure of the NLS will also now be deferred until the start of the 2021-22 season.
Furthermore, we can now confirm that we have decided that all grassroots football is concluded for the 2019-20 season. This will allow the game to move forward and to commence planning for next season. Our County Football Associations (CFAs) will be supporting grassroots leagues over the coming days to determine how they should close out their current competitions.
Where appropriate, the above decisions will be put to The FA Council for ratification.
Throughout this period we continue to seek guidance in respect of the government’s financial support packages relative to COVID-19 and how they are applicable to clubs in the NLS, the women’s football pyramid and the wider grassroots game.
The FA, FA Women’s Board members and the Women’s Football Conference have consulted and reached a consensus regarding the women’s football pyramid.
The FA and the leagues within tiers three to seven have reached a consensus to bring the season to an immediate end and all results will be expunged. This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between tiers three to seven. Agreement has also been reached to end the Regional Talent Clubs season, which was due to conclude in April 2020.
We remain in consultation with the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship Board and clubs regarding the most appropriate way to complete the current season, including for the Barclays FA Women’s Super League Academy.
With the 2019-20 Emirates FA Cup, Women’s FA Cup, Buildbase FA Trophy and Buildbase FA Vase all at advanced stages, we are reviewing all options as we seek to complete these competitions whenever it is safe and appropriate to do so. Clubs involved are close to reaching a major final and for those clubs and supporters we will do all we can to keep the Wembley dream alive.
In respect of The FA Youth Cup, The FA County Youth Cup, The FA Sunday Cup and The FA Inter-League Cup, we are also seeking to complete these competitions if it is feasible to do so.
We will also continue planning for FA competitions to take place for the 2020-21 season.
Statement from the Southern Counties East Football League - March 28th
"The league’s board of directors met on Friday via video conference call to discuss the latest developments following the FA’s announcement earlier in the week.
We are currently looking at all outstanding matters from the current season and planning for next year, albeit no-one knows what the future holds in terms of when we will be able to play the game we all love again.
Prior to our meeting, and in response to the FA statement regarding making the 2019/20 season null and void, we had already asked for clarification on certain matters from the FA. A number of clubs have also contacted the league since the decision and we will seek greater clarity on their behalf, along with issues raised by the directors, going forward.
A number of decisions have been made, however, in light of the FA decision. In line with league fixtures not resuming, the remaining Challenge Cup matches will also not take place for 2019/20.
In addition, annual awards such as golden boot and the remaining manager of the month awards will not be made. Therefore, it will come as no surprise, especially in the current uncertainty, that there will be no annual luncheon this year.
The annual general meeting will, of course, still need to be held although the date and venue are still very much subject to change. We will communicate such changes in due course.
A number of clubs have voiced concerns about previous fines and payments made to the FA, county FAs and the league. It is highly unlikely that monies will be returned to clubs.
However, as a league we are mindful that clubs may well face a difficult few months ahead and have come up with a couple of initiatives to save money to assist our clubs where we can. One of these, which we are pleased to announce today, is that annual subscriptions for the 2020/21 season will be reduced to just £50. Our annual £50 discount for charter standard clubs will still apply, which means that most of our teams will not pay any annual subscription.
The directors are currently working on other measures regarding discipline and registrations. Further details will be announced to clubs in due course.
In addition, clubs are reminded of the support they can get from the government and the FA, which has already been communicated earlier in the week by the league secretary.
Finally, the directors send our best wishes to everyone connected with the league during this uncertain time. Keep following the government advice and we all look forward to seeing everyone again as soon as it is safe to do so."