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Clubs in the National League vote in favour of passing the ordinary resolution which means play-offs for Dartford and likely relegation for Ebbsfleet United

Dartford Football Club have got the green light to prepare for a play-off campaign in National League South.

Clubs in the three divisions of the National League were asked to vote on a way to end the season which included places decided on points per game and play-offs in all three divisions.

Dartford in action against Oxford City at Princes Park Picture: Sean Aidan
Dartford in action against Oxford City at Princes Park Picture: Sean Aidan

That was supported by member clubs and now, subject to the competition rules and applicable government guidance on the phased return of elite sport, the Darts will face an away game against Slough Town in the play-offs.

Dates are yet to be confirmed.

The passing of the league's ordinary resolution means Ebbsfleet United will finish the season third bottom on points per game and are now likely to be relegated.

If there are no further obstacles in the way of the play-offs between clubs in National South and National North, and either Stevenage or Macclesfield are relegated from League 2, then Fleet will have to make way for the newcomers. The National League say the top division must remain at 24 clubs.

A statement from the Darts said: “Well, after more than 12 weeks since our last league game and hiccups and false starts galore, the result we had all hoped for was finally confirmed.

“After a disappointing start to the season, Steve King (the Dartford manager) came in and took the club by the scruff of the neck and very quickly turned us in to a team to be feared.

“We became the form team and week after week, we were top of the form table and gradually got ourselves in to a play off place, only for the season to be cut short by this terrible pandemic.

“After much debate and hard work behind the scenes, we were rewarded for our hard work today, with confirmation that we now finish the table in 6th place to earn an away play off quarter final with Slough Town.

“The dates for all play off games along with the guidelines and protocol to be followed, will be advised by the league shortly.

“Unfortunately it seems that the games will have to be played behind closed doors and if that is the case, we shall be looking in to all options available to us, as to how we can live stream any games we are involved in to our supporters. The League are looking in to the possibility of its media partner, BT Sports, filming not only the National Division but the North and South as well.”

Prior to the vote being declared, a Fleet statement said: “A great deal of work, preparation and effort has been undertaken to ensure the club has had our voice heard during the past difficult and uncertain months in terms of what we feel and expect are viable and just solutions for the season outcomes.

“In particular, our local MP Adam Holloway and his staff have been hugely supportive of the club and represented our position very well along correct channels.

“We are aware of supporters who have contacted Mr Holloway’s office regarding the matter on your own initiative and we thank you for showing your support of the club in that fashion. We can confirm that your representations were heard and acted upon by your local MP.

“Other supporters have done a huge amount of work voluntarily on providing statistics and various solutions and proposals to the club which have been hugely helpful and greatly appreciated. It demonstrates a true club spirit and club-wide co-operation that sets us a strong platform for the future regardless of current affairs.

“Whatever the outcome, under the circumstances the season has ended and the wider impact on our community and nation in general at present, there should be restraint and respect shown by any club who retains their status or achieves promotion as a result of the deliberations and decisions the National League has been tasked with making.”

What has been confirmed - subject to ratification by the FA Council - is that Barrow have been crowned champions of the National League and will be promoted to League 2 of the EFL while King’s Lynn Town top National League North and Wealdstone are champions of Vanarama National League South.

The National League said: “The end of season play-offs will now proceed with the clubs that qualify, subject to the competition rules and the applicable government guidance on the phased return of elite sport.

“The number of clubs to be relegated from the Vanarama National League will be determined so as to maintain a National Division of 24 Clubs after any relegation from EFL League Two, promotion to EFL League Two and promotion from the National League North and National League South divisions.”

The league's chief exec Michael Tattersall said: “I congratulate each of our champions clubs on their successful campaigns. The enforced curtailment of our season does nothing to discredit the quality of the football played and I am pleased that our clubs have overwhelmingly supported the award of their titles.

“We can now also look towards the completion of end of season Play-Offs.”

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