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Coronavirus Kent: Tonbridge Angels boss Steve McKimm says fate of 2019/20 National League season will be influenced by Premier League

Steve McKimm believes the National League will be guided by the elite when it comes to deciding the outcome of the 2019/20 football season.

The Tonbridge boss feels that’s the most likely scenario – although he has rejected suggestions the FA Cup could be scrapped next season as a way of making up time.

Tonbridge Angels manager Steve McKimm Picture: Andy Payton
Tonbridge Angels manager Steve McKimm Picture: Andy Payton

Football has shut down, until April 3 at the earliest, amid the coronavirus pandemic and league bosses face some big decisions if it’s not possible to complete the campaign.

McKimm, who was due to meet his players on Thursday, said: “I can’t see much happening but I’m not an expert, I’m just a football manager.

“It’s one decision I’m glad I haven’t got to make.

“The easiest thing is to void the season but that’s not fair on teams looking to get promoted.

“We’ll be governed by what the elite do.

“I know the FA say it’s down to leagues to make their own decisions but if the Premier League is null and void then that’s what everyone else will do.

“Nobody knows what to say or do because we’ve never been in this position before.

“Whatever decision is made, you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t, in some people’s eyes.

“Some will be happy, others won’t but the decision will come from the top and filter down.

“There’s big decisions to make but that’s why the powers-that-be get paid big money.

“I haven’t got a clue what to do and if you put something out there, you’re there to be shot down.”

Whatever happens, McKimm feels it’s important the FA Cup goes ahead next season.

The big clubs can cope without the prize money but it remains an important competition for non-league sides.

McKimm said: “My only concern is if they start talking about scrapping the FA Cup to be able to fit the end of this season in.

“That would massively harm a lot of non-league teams because it’s a source of revenue and can help clubs through the season if you get a lucky run.

“That’s one thing I wouldn’t like to see happen. It’s the prestige of it as well.

“The non-league clubs that come out the right side this time might be looking to the cup next season to earn some money. If it’s not there, they won’t be able to do it.”

Defender Rian Bray scored an injury-time equaliser as Tonbridge drew 3-3 at Concord last Saturday.

Ben Greenhalgh put Angels in front against his old club and Tommy Wood made it 2-2 after goals from Temi Babalola and Decarry Musi Sheriff had edged the hosts in front.

James Blanchfield made it 3-2 to Concord on the stroke of half-time but Bray’s header earned a share of the spoils, leaving Tonbridge a point clear of the bottom two with four games in hand.

With the Premier League and Football League already suspending play, McKimm was surprised the game went ahead.

He said: “A lot of the players’ minds were on other things, and rightly so as well. I’d imagine their team were the same.

“There were 700 people there but no real atmosphere, if you get what I mean.

“Our fans were brilliant but in general it felt like people wondered why they were there.

“We did well and deserved our draw. If that’s the end of the season, we’ve finished on a high.”

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