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Dartford could be facing a play-off campaign in National League South after clubs are sent a new proposal but it could mean relegation for Ebbsfleet United

The National League South play-offs are back on the agenda - good news for Dartford but not so good for Ebbsfleet United.

New proposals from the National League about how to end the season now include the possibility of teams in National League South, including Dartford, to compete in a play-off campaign, a maximum of three matches.

Dartford have a chance of competing in the play-offs Picture: Sean Aidan
Dartford have a chance of competing in the play-offs Picture: Sean Aidan

Clubs were sent the National League’s ordinary resolution paper on Monday night and are now being asked whether they agree with the updated proposals.

The National League propose ending the season on unweighted points per game (as opposed to a weighted formula which takes into account remaining home and away fixtures). That would leave Fleet third from bottom in the National League - in the relegation zone.

Teams at the top of the National League (Barrow), National League North (King’s Lynn) and National League South (Wealdstone) would be promoted automatically. The Linnets would replace York City at the top of National League North on PPG.

The proposal goes on to say “the competition would then proceed to end of season play-offs for those clubs qualifying for the same in accordance with competition rules pursuant to the final league table. Such play-offs will in any event be subject to the government’s coronavirus guidance on phased return to elite sport.”

National League South side Havant & Waterlooville have said they are in receipt of a letter from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) saying their players are free to return to training.

Earlier on Monday, Havant MP Alan Mak met with DCMS secretary Oliver Dowden MP and said that it was down to the National League to determine whether the play-offs should take place, not the government.

Prior to that there had been a debate about whether the National League North and South (step two of non-league football) was an elite level. Only elite sports teams and players can compete at present.

Last week the play-offs in North and South were not included in the National League proposal, meaning just one team automatically promoted from each division.

If only two are promoted from the regional leagues then Fleet's place in the National League would be safe. If four come up they would face relegation.

It’s all change now and teams have until 5pm on Wednesday to vote on the proposal. If they don't accept then there is still the prospect of the National League divisions being declared null and void.

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