Published: 13:00, 22 April 2020
| Updated: 12:03, 24 April 2020
The remaining league matches in the National League are to be cancelled.
A statement from the league say there was a “clear majority” in favour of ending the season with immediate affect. Clubs must now decide whether to have teams promoted and relegated.
Maidstone United are one of those to have made clear that was their preferred choice while Ebbsfleet United - who might be relegated - were understood to have wanted to complete their remaining games.
Dover Athletic chairman Jim Parmenter is involved in the governance of the National League and he has previously said: “I find the staggering self interest being displayed by those who can afford to continue to pursue gain from the season by threatening legal action if they don’t get their own way against good people trying to do their best in unprecedented circumstances disgusting beyond further words.”
Clubs were asked to vote on whether to end the season and the league received a decision from 90% of the clubs. It was enough for them to make their statement today (Wednesday).
Relegation and promotion issues are still to be decided.
A statement from the league said: “It is evident a clear majority of clubs are in favour (of ending the season now), including a majority of clubs in each of the National League, National League North and National League South divisions.
“In the knowledge that the ordinary resolution has passed, the league’s board has chosen to communicate the decision now and before the last few responses are received, which will not change the outcome, to enable clubs to make business decisions with greater clarity as soon as possible.
“Clubs yet to respond still have an opportunity to do so, and the League wishes to include as many preferences as possible before the final voting result is declared.”
Ebbsfleet chief exec Damian Irvine, who took up the role in February, speaking to the Press Association said: “Of all clubs of the 68 we’re one of the most affected for a number of reasons.
“I’m not going to argue unfairness. The outcome needs to have an impact on the fewest clubs possible.
"If promotion and relegation were to remain and it was decided on points per game we would go down by 0.002 per cent.
“We would want to play the rest of the league because we’re one of the form sides but realistically with the world health crisis and people passing away it’s not fair to want to play those games.”
National League chief exec Michael Tattersall said: “At a time when the entire country is wrestling with the devastating impact of Covid-19, the cancellation of the remaining normal season matches brings a degree of certainty to our clubs coping with the business implications of the virus.”
The league statement adds that “the options concerning the sporting outcomes of the 2019/20 season remain under careful and timely consideration.”