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Coronavirus Kent: Corinthian and Beckenham Town denied promotion on points per game which the Southern Counties East Football League were in favour of

The Southern Counties East Football League were in favour of concluding the season on points per game with promotion and relegation.

But instead the campaign has been declared null and void after the FA Council ratified the Leagues Committee’s decision to end the 2019/20 season at steps three to seven.

Beckenham Town against K Sports in the Southern Counties East Premier Division
Beckenham Town against K Sports in the Southern Counties East Premier Division

A SCEFL statement on Friday explained their position, saying: “The initial process in this decision involved a conference call between leagues at step five and six which we were part of.

“Our league put forward the view that the season should be resolved on a points per game basis.

“We formed this opinion on the basis that success should be rewarded and that a lot of hard work had gone into the season by players, supporters and club officials.

“Indeed, there are a number of clubs currently outside the league that have expressed an interest in joining for the 2020/21 season through the proper channels and their hard work should also not be forgotten.

“No vote was taken by leagues at this stage and it is true to say that opinions were divided across the country as to the best way to proceed.

“The Leagues Committee then took the decision to make the season null and void. The majority decision by the FA Council supported this stance.

“We know this will be an unwelcome conclusion to the season for many of our clubs, a number of whom have voiced their opinions directly to the FA.”

Corinthian and Beckenham Town - the top two sides in the Premier Division before results were expunged - both added their names to a letter asking the FA to reverse the decision.

The Beckenham chairman Paul Faires had earlier slammed the FA's lack of communication throughout the decision-making process.

Corinthian up against Hollands & Blair in the Southern Counties East Premier Division
Corinthian up against Hollands & Blair in the Southern Counties East Premier Division

Two promotion places were up for grabs. The top side were to go up automatically and the second placed would be promoted if their records were ranked within the best at step five level, or a play-off match against the bottom side from step four.

Positions at the top would have switched around on points per game (PPG), with Corinthian winning the league and long-term leaders Beckenham slipping into second.

Beckenham would have gone up automatically, however, on PPG as the fourth best placed team at their level, pipping the team below by just one goal.

Sheppey would have finished third, outside the promotion places, ahead of Chatham and Tunbridge Wells, both of whom averaged two points per game.

In Division 1, where four promotion places had been available, due to a reshuffle, there would have been quite a change around.

Second placed Rusthall would have taken top spot, third placed Holmesdale would be second, leaders Kennington drop to third and fifth placed Rochester would have claimed the last promotion spot, ahead of SC Thamesmead, who would drop to seventh.

The FA Council’s ratification, however, makes it all irrelevant as records for the season are now expunged and the clubs will have to start again whenever the new campaign begins.

The SCEFL have attempted to do their bit to ease the financial burden on clubs who won’t now have football income for many months.

The statement ends by saying: “We should have been celebrating a great weekend of football over Easter but we know that there are much bigger things at stake at the moment and urge everyone to follow the government advice during this period.

“The directors would also like to send our best wishes to John Moules, our league vice-chairman, who we are pleased to report has now left hospital and is on the road to full fitness after coronavirus.”

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