Published: 09:00, 20 January 2021
| Updated: 10:03, 20 January 2021
Folkestone Invicta have advised the Isthmian League that they would prefer the season to be declared null and void.
The board of the league have openly said themselves they would opt for ending the season now, rather than attempt to carry on post-lockdown, but have asked all member clubs for their thoughts.
A decision will ultimately be made by the Football Association Council, after listening to the thoughts of the respective leagues. Invicta’s last competitive game was on November 3 and they have only played nine matches, sitting 10th in the table when play was halted. Fixtures are suspended at present until March 6.
Clubs were given alternative options, such as starting where they left off again in August, playing teams only once, attempting to restart when allowed or to merge last season’s previously expunged results into the 2020/21 record.
Neither were agreeable to Invicta chairman Paul Morgan who said the “only option” was to unfortunately null and void the league and that is was a “no-brainer”.
He said: “You are not going to get all of these games in between now and August (the hopeful start date for the 2021/21 campaign) so it would disrupt next season.
“My advice and my view is to null and void it now. I feel sorry for the clubs who maybe would have got promotion but I can’t see any other option.
“There was talk about playing each other only once but I can’t see that working. Common sense is to null and void it now so that we all know where we stand, all get ready and fingers crossed we can then return to training ahead for pre-season and starting again in August.”
Last season’s league campaign was scrapped with much more football played. Invicta were sitting fifth in the Premier Division with games in hand and the possibility of going second. They had 10 games left to play when the FA decided to end it following the first national lockdown.
Mr Morgan said: “I think Worthing would have won the league but you never know. We could have been in the play-offs and could have got through but others might have felt the same.
“We haven’t played half the games this year and rather than dragging it on, and on, and on, let’s have someone say, ‘right, let’s null and void the whole lot’ and get ready for August if possible.”
Invicta might not have been playing but the club have had work done at the Builtkent Stadium.
They hope to reveal the extent of the works soon, but they include heated terracing. Perimeter fencing around the pitch has also been upgraded.
“There are a lot of exciting things happening at the Buildkent,” the chairman said.
All of the club’s players who are on contract are furloughed but the club are still paying rent, rates and utility bills.
Mr Morgan says they have funds to keep going but that playing without supporters was something “no league club could survive”.
He added: “We are not struggling, the only thing we have to sort out eventually would be season tickets and if fans will want to be reimbursed.
"There was talk about playing each other only once but I can’t see that working. Common sense is to null and void it now so that we all know where we stand.
“Hopefully some will understand and maybe we can knock money off for the next year. We have to sit down and think about that but financially we are okay.”
*Defender Finn O’Mara’s loan spell with National South side Welling United is over after just two games.
A change of management has seen former Gillingham boss Steve Lovell take charge and O’Mara - who has been an ever-present this season for Invicta - has been released. He is now looking for another club to keep himself active.