Written by Frankie Rudland (@RudlandFrankie)
The FA has called for all Step 5 & 6 leagues to attend a meeting regarding possible scenarios for the 2020/21 season.
As reported by Ollie Bayliss (@Ollie_Bayliss) on Twitter, representatives from 17 competitions, including both divisions of the Sydenhams Wessex League, will be invited to the Microsoft Teams meeting on the 19th June.
It is understood that The FA will provide updates as to how they intend to progress with the National League system in the 2020/21 season, as well as discuss possible adaptations that could be made to ensure the safe resumption of Non-League football.
The meeting will also provide an opportunity for representatives of each league to try and thrash out an alternative way for their sides to generate income from fans, with an August restart only likely to be sanctioned behind closed doors.
Such a scenario could prove deadly for local clubs, with many already struggling following the FA’s decision to null and void Steps 3-7 in late March.
JustGiving pages have been widely set up to support clubs across the country who have lost substantial amounts of money due to the pandemic, with the owner of Derbyshire based Mickleover Sports FC chairman, Don Amott, even predicting a current loss of around £20,000.
This has led to widespread anger amongst the footballing community, with the FA’s decision to null and void the season deemed too rash by some. Despite the news of the meeting being scheduled to plan towards next season, some fans still took to Twitter to voice their opinions, here’s what they had to say on the matter…
@deadlykermit: “What is the betting that this is the FA letting the ‘small’ clubs know that next season the FA Cup will be excluded for them. Time constraints etc, but in reality, big money talks.”
@Gs250A: “If several thousand can gather (for the right reasons) in central London then surely Non-League football can start with crowds ASAP #Footballfansmatter”
@RyanHeyworth1: “I don’t understand why steps 3-6 couldn’t have been honoured with Points Per Game.”
@SurreyWyvern: “The FA couldn’t be bothered to sort out any potential issues for the 20/21 season. They are so far removed from lower league football it’s frightening.”
@NEMariner7: “The way the FA have acted this season regarding Non-League football I wouldn’t be surprised if this meeting is to scrap Non-League football forever…anything is possible for this mob.”
@FarnhamTownFC: “Will this be a meeting in the true sense of the word or one of their “meetings” & “discussions” where they just tell us all that this is what they’re going to do whether we like it or not?”
@BradHicks20: “If it means I can actually go to some football then great!”
@mattyt339: “Probably best to just null and void it now. Save any hassle for them by the clubs that return little revenue.”