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What does this mean for the SSML? and non league ⚽?


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Here's a surprise folks, National League North Chorley have voted to 'remain committed to fulfilling the 2020/21 season and have voted accordingly for a continuation of the league'. The Club made history in the FA Cup this season reaching the Fourth Round with the Derby and Wolves ties televised, what with substantial prize money they must have 'filthy lucre' coming out of their ears unlike other National League North and South Club's. I mentioned on another thread in October that the Club were very fortunate to receive a bye into the First Round proper due to Macclesfield Town's sad demise:

Having carefully considered all options available, at this time we can confirm that Chorley FC remain committed to fulfilling the 2020/21 season and have voted accordingly for a continuation of the league.

We recognise that the current solutions on offer do not meet with the needs of all clubs and we fully respect any decision taken by other clubs that they feel are in their best interests. Likewise, we would ask other clubs to respect our decision.

We remain hopeful that a common way forwards can still be achieved that will allow all teams to play on & conclude the current season.

Board Statement: NL Resolution | Chorley FC

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Having seen many photos posted on line by people attending games its clear to see the blame lies mainly with the fans as the simple rule of social distancing clearly cannot be followed and yet it will

Some posts above there is reference to a petition to 'Save the National League Clubs with Support Grants'.  I'd just like to say that I think the petition is complete and utter nonsense and that I hop

Is it Edgware Town?

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An article from the Bucks Herald entitled 'What should become of the Steps 3-6 seasons - Reporters from across the UK have their say', there are some interesting and very scathing comments:

OPINION: What should become of the Steps 3-6 seasons? Reporters from across the UK have their say | Bucks Herald

Null and void, what is the alternative? The FA will take the easy way out after letting things get to this stage with their total lack of support and financial backing for clubs at these levels. Duncan Browne (Boston Standard)

Edited by Rhodes
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Extend the season to June.

If Clubs can be back up and playing by mid March then they can fulfill all of their League games.

As restrictions are eased, Clubs can begin to earn revenue through bar takings, refreshments and at the turnstile.

We are getting close to a cut off point and I believe a decision one way or an other is imminent. 

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4 hours ago, petethegreek said:

Extend the season to June.

If Clubs can be back up and playing by mid March then they can fulfill all of their League games.

As restrictions are eased, Clubs can begin to earn revenue through bar takings, refreshments and at the turnstile.

We are getting close to a cut off point and I believe a decision one way or an other is imminent. 

I don’t think even what you lay out is possible, you’d have to lose no hands to water logging in March and April, which is doubtful. I doubt the tier system will be at a stage that allows any or all clubs to play, there will be some clubs who can’t play in June also, if sport is up and running that means cricket will be. 

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33 minutes ago, Winslow Boy said:

I don’t think even what you lay out is possible, you’d have to lose no hands to water logging in March and April, which is doubtful. I doubt the tier system will be at a stage that allows any or all clubs to play, there will be some clubs who can’t play in June also, if sport is up and running that means cricket will be. 

As I mention in my last sentence, I think we are just about on the limit regarding a time line to finish the season.

My guess is it is 60-40 the League program will be null and void.

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1 hour ago, petethegreek said:

My guess is it is 60-40 the League program will be null and void.

Better odds then I would have given 😀

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A hard hitting statement from Tonbridge Angels which must also apply to many Club's at the present time:

Angels try to make sense of an impossible situation - Tonbridge Angels FC

"With no money coming in since December, and wages and overheads still to pay out, the club will find itself insolvent by the end of the month." "The only clear direction would seem to be to bring the campaign to an end."

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It's 'criminal' isn't it, no, not the Club's understandable actions in the current climate but the National League's, the hard hitting letter below was sent to Chippenham Town for not fulfilling their fixtures on 6 and 9 February and Dulwich Hamlet and Curzon Ashton have received identical letters:

Billede

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On 07/02/2021 at 06:32, agamemnon3 said:

The government has not 'changed the terms of its support', and no-one has 'moved the financial goalposts mid-season'. To those who were actually paying attention it was clear from the outset that the initial grant was a one-off payment.  Rather, the truth of the situation is revealed in a one-liner in Alison McGovern's letter to Nigel Huddleston -- 'football has been beset by a number of poor governance and financial issues for many years, including prior to the pandemic'. 

Agamemnon3 - You made a really good post earlier and here's clarification from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that 'at no stage was the National League told by the DCMS that its support would only be in the form of grants'. The letter goes on to say that 'it is unfortunate that the National League chose to communicate this to Club's without first clarifying the nature of the support with the DCMS':

Billede

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Here's a surprise, a statement from the FA today regarding 'the continuation or curtailment of the 2020/21 season at Steps 3 to 6 of the National League System (NLS)'. Talk about dragging things out:

The FA has provided the following update in relation to the potential continuation or curtailment of the 2020/21 season at Steps 3 to 6 of the National League System (NLS).

The Alliance Committee (Steps 3 & 4) and Leagues Committee (Steps 5 & 6) met on 8th and 9th February, respectively, to discuss the data that was collated following the recent surveys circulated to clubs at this level of the game.

During discussions, the Committees acknowledged the likelihood that the Prime Minister will set out a ‘roadmap’ to the nation on 22nd February as to how Government intend to begin to reduce the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Given that any such update from the Government on 22nd February may provide the Committees with additional, relevant information to help determine the preferred route forward, they have agreed to re-convene after this date.

In addition, the Alliance Committee are also conscious of the ongoing process the National League (Steps 1 & 2) are undertaking and the potential impact this could have on any actions the Committee may choose to take.

National League System Step 3 to 6 Update - Sports Shots

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On 12/02/2021 at 01:45, Rhodes said:

It's 'criminal' isn't it, no, not the Club's understandable actions in the current climate but the National League's, the hard hitting letter below was sent to Chippenham Town for not fulfilling their fixtures on 6 and 9 February and Dulwich Hamlet and Curzon Ashton have received identical letters:

I see that the National League are backtracking now as they know full well they are in the wrong in taking such a hard line approach, clearly the appointed Independent Panel will laugh each case out of Court when the time comes for the Club's hearings:

Billede

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The dire National League situation was highlighted on BBC London this evening and Welling United and Dulwich Hamlet Chairmen say a few words about their feelings, Welling United are currently in action against Ebbsfleet United at their Park View Road base however Dulwich Hamlet's fixture with Maidstone United at their iconic Champion Hill home was called off and the Club have already been charged by the League for failing to fulfil League fixtures: 

 

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On 10/01/2021 at 15:10, Winslow Boy said:

Chester-v-Chorley-29-750x330.jpg

Further to Chester's position, the National League North Club have issued a statement today to say that they "won't play any further League fixtures until the result of the resolutions is known, the significant costs of remaining fully operational no longer aligns with our overriding responsibility of protecting the financial viability of the Club".

Chester Football Club – Official Website » CLUB STATEMENT | Blues will not be playing this Saturday (chesterfc.com)

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The National League North and National League South have today been declared null and void following voting from member Club's, National League (Step 1) Club's have voted to continue with their season. Ratification still needs to be given by the FA however this is thought to be just a formality:

The Non-League Football Paper

National League season to continue but North and South divisions declared null and void - BBC Sport

OFFICIAL CLUB STATEMENT | THE NATIONAL LEAGUE RESOLUTIONS (dorkingwanderers.com)

The National League will carry on for the remainder of the season but the North and South Divisions have been declared null and void.

More than two weeks after the four resolutions to decide how to end the season were sent by the league to member clubs, the threshold for making a decision was finally reached - even though not all the votes have been received.

The National League campaign will proceed, despite seven out of 23 clubs voting to end the season.

But, while the majority of National League South clubs voted to continue its season (12-9), fewer counterparts in National League North felt the same (7-15) and the decision to scrap the campaign with immediate effect was taken.

The initial resolution, for each step of the National League to decide its own fate by a simple majority was carried, with all 23 clubs in the senior league voting in favour.

The voting method for that resolution meant that the North and South Leagues only had four votes each, so the 75% threshold was comfortably reached.

One of the National League clubs to vote against continuing was Dover, whose owner Jim Parmenter resigned from the National League board in protest at how the situation was being handled and says the club will not play its remaining fixtures.

Edited by Rhodes
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With the National League (Step 1) surprisingly voting to continue with the campaign, I wonder what will happen in the case of Dover Athletic who state that the Club are "unable to fulfil further National League fixtures until appropriate funding is made available”, it's mystifying that they are the only Club to make a stand and refuse to play. In a statement Chairman Jim Parmenter said that he had been left with no option but to make the decision to prevent the Club from becoming insolvent, all financial reserves have been completely exhausted and all staff and players have been furloughed to reduce operations to a bare minimum. Mr Parmenter recently resigned from the National League Board in protest of the way things were being handled citing disagreements with the League’s meek stance in recent months over the lack of funding to play matches this season, he rightly described the National League’s current plight as “chaos” and said the Board have not shown "strong, relevant leadership” which obviously they haven't, a bit like the FA:

CLUB STATEMENT – DOVER ATHLETIC FC

Dover Athletic chairman Jim Parmenter resigns from National League board (kentonline.co.uk)

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Non-league football is certainly not all in it  together. The pyramid has fallen apart.

Last season null and void did not apply to elite and this season playing through lockdown was different for elite and non-elite. Now the top two steps are splitting one elite league into two on the null and void issue. Might SSMFL follow suit and continue some divisions but not others? 

My money is still on  null and void but there are some leagues and clubs that want to run mini-divisions and cups to give some competitive football for the rest of the season if the government allows it.

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1 hour ago, Arsenal fan said:

Non-league football is certainly not all in it  together. The pyramid has fallen apart.

Last season null and void did not apply to elite and this season playing through lockdown was different for elite and non-elite. Now the top two steps are splitting one elite league into two on the null and void issue. Might SSMFL follow suit and continue some divisions but not others? 

My money is still on  null and void but there are some leagues and clubs that want to run mini-divisions and cups to give some competitive football for the rest of the season if the government allows it.

👍

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23 minutes ago, Savagebee said:

👍

Have to agree, the National League in particular is not fit for purpose and shouldn't even come under the 'Non League football banner' IMO 

 

As for the rest of us at 'Grass Roots' it's very likely that Step 3-6 will be null and void as a consequence of Step 2 voting to end their season. 

The hope was that we could return as you say and play out a mini league, guess we have to wait for the governments announcement next week to see if that's possible. 

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Dover Athletic have now been unceremoniously charged by the National League for breach of rule 8.39 and not fulfilling fixtures, I wonder whether they have done it just to spite Chairman Jim Parmenter who resigned from the National League Board recently in protest of the way things were being handled, they certainly haven't wasted any time in doing so:

NATIONAL LEAGUE CHARGES DOVER – DOVER ATHLETIC FC

The National League have charged Dover twice with a breach of Rule 8.39.

Following the failure of the National League to provide agreed funding, the club have had to make the difficult decision to cease all football operations and furlough players and staff.

Chairman Jim Parmenter said “We are clearly very disappointed that the National League seem to be sticking to their guns and applying rules of the competition with no proper awareness or consideration for the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in

It is clear that the agenda is to finish the season at any cost.”

It is likely that Whites will see further charges being brought as they continue to be unable to fulfil games.

Parmenter said “We do have a right to deny charges on a game-by-game basis, but with the cost of a personal hearing for each charge being £150, clearly this is an additional financial burden and limits our options.  We will, however, make our submissions in writing, based on our firm belief that the failure of the National League to ensure the promised funding was made available has resulted in us taking the only possible action to avoid insolvency.”

Edited by Rhodes
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On 24/01/2021 at 19:48, Rhodes said:

This should be interesting folks and put the cat amongst the pigeons, Ollie Bayliss has submitted a 'Freedom of Information (FoI)' request to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in relation to the National League grants v loans debacle, lets see what the DCMS come back with:

This is disgusting isn't it, you may recall that Ollie Bayliss submitted a Freedon of Information (FoI) request to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on 24 January in relation to the National League grants v loans debacle, here is their response to him:

Billede

 

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I have some sympathy for Kings Lynn Town Football Club however they were more than happy to take promotion to the National League when controversially 'winning' the National League North on points-per-game last season so they really can't have it both ways:

The club has the following update for it’s supporters following last evening’s announcement from the National League that the season is to continue after a majority of clubs voted against a proposal to end the season in light of the ongoing consequences caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

We are able to confirm that next week’s home National League  fixtures with Barnet and Weymouth will take place as scheduled but are unable to confirm that we will play any further fixtures after February 27th at this current time.

As a club we do not wish to comment further at this time as the situation is one that continues to change and develop on a regular basis. At present our chairman is working very hard behind the scenes as he seeks clarity on the various scenarios in these unprecedented times.

We will issue further updates on this situation when there is some firm news to report.

Club statement - King's Lynn Town FC (kltown.co.uk)

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I don’t have much sympathy for Step 2, they were happy to be classed as Elite and finish last season, but found out this season they weren’t, which everyone else already knew.

saying all that the voting rights in the national league is a disgrace. To have a league where one division can overpower the other 2 isn’t right.

As for Step 3 and below the writing is on the wall. The FA National Leagues committee allowed the Step 3 and 4 clubs with contracted players to push the agenda for null and void last season instead of a sensible postponement of the season. We could have then completed a full season. instead we will have 2 null and void and most likely the farcical decision to carry on with the 2019/20 FA competitions.

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I see that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are still more than happy to offer loans to Club's in the National League out of a pot of £5.4 million available so why don't the likes of Kings Lynn Town and Dover Athletic just swallow their pride and take what is on offer to them rather than running the risk of being expelled from the League. They can worry about payng the money back later when I am sure there will be some means of doing so further down the line, like I said Kings Lynn Town didn't hesitate to take promotion on points-per-game last season when York City should have gone up as 'Champions' so they really can't have it both ways now this has happened. There's some interesting reading about the whole sorry fiasco on another Forum:

Time To Stop National League Games? | Page 17 | NonLeagueMatters Forums

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9 minutes ago, Rhodes said:

I see that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are still more than happy to offer loans to Club's in the National League out of a pot of £5.4 million available so why don't the likes of Kings Lynn Town and Dover Athletic just swallow their pride and take what is on offer to them rather than running the risk of being expelled from the League. They can worry about payng the money back later when I am sure there will be some means of doing so further down the line, like I said Kings Lynn Town didn't hesitate to take promotion on points-per-game last season when York City should have gone up as 'Champions' so they really can't have it both ways now this has happened. There's some interesting reading about the whole sorry fiasco on another Forum:

Time To Stop National League Games? | Page 17 | NonLeagueMatters Forums

The taking on of loans to just function now will inevitably lead to the ruin of some clubs in the future. 

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Dorking Wanderers Chairman Marc White was on the other Non League Show yesterday (see link below) and it was an interesting listen, he emphasised that just because his Club are five points clear in the National League South with a game in hand that is not the reason why he wants the season to continue. Mr White has appointed a high powered legal team to challenge the null & void decision as he strongly believes the National League has acted irresponsibly and "in contravention to the required legal and regulatory frameworks":

Press Release: National League resolution - Next Steps (dorkingwanderers.com)

The Non League Football Show / 19th February 2021 Part B - Mark Ives of The National League & Marc White of Dorking Wanderers (audioboom.com)

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