Published: 18:00, 12 March 2021
| Updated: 20:42, 12 March 2021
A proposal from some of the teams in National South and North to carry on playing has been rejected.
The Football Association’s Alliance Committee turned down the idea of a mini-league formed between clubs in the two divisions at step two - one down from the National League - and any alternative “in the interest of the integrity of the National League System.”
Both Dartford and Ebbsfleet United had been keen to play on in some way, with the hope of fighting for promotion to the top level of the non-league game.
Step two football had been halted after all clubs had been given a choice of playing on or declaring the season null and void.
Teams like Maidstone United and Tonbridge Angels said they were unable to afford to play on without fans. Those that wanted to carry on put a proposal forward, combining the teams from South and North that wished to play on.
Ebbsfleet issued a statement on Friday, saying: “While we are naturally disappointed that this is the final outcome of a campaign that everyone at the football club has worked so hard to nurture and develop, we accept the decision and now look ahead with a keen focus and anticipation to planning for the 2021/22 campaign, our club’s 75th anniversary season.
“We will reflect on our achievements and endeavours during 2019/20 but we are already hard at work to bring our supporters the success and entertainment you desire as the very fabric of this club."
A statement from the board at Dartford said: “We are extremely disappointed that the season is now officially over and equally disappointed that the result was not relayed direct to the clubs by the National League, after so much time and effort had been invested in the alternative proposal."
Both clubs have said they will be addressing season ticket holders in the coming days.
While ruling out a mini-league, the vote to end the season has also been ratified, subject to FA Council approval.
It was also confirmed that there would be no relegation from Step 1 (the National League). Dover Athletic are currently bottom of the table, having played just 15 games. They have put their team on furlough and have said they can no longer afford to play.