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National League North and South declared null and void

The fate of the Vanarama National League campaigns at the lower divisions, which feature several Bermudians, has finally been resolved.

The National League involving Justin Donawa’s Solihull Moors, Milan Butterfield’s Chesterfield and Jonté Smith’s Woking will conclude their season, while the North and South divisions, including Dale Eve’s Spennymoor Town, and Knory Scott and Keziah Martin’s Kidderminster Harriers, have been declared null and void.

More than two weeks after four resolutions to decide how to end the season were sent by the league to all 66 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. Two clubs have yet to cast their votes, but the final result cannot be altered, with the 51 per cent majority already reached.

The National League board will now take the decision to the Football Association for ratification, where the issue of relegation from the fifth tier and promotion to the Football League will also be discussed.

Meanwhile, despite 12 of the 21 National League South clubs voting to continue the season, there were fewer takers up North, where only seven of the 22 wished to play on. The decision was then taken scrap the campaign with immediate effect.

The continuation of the season had been in grave doubt since the turn of the year after a dispute over funding to the league’s clubs.

The row escalated at the end of last month after the National League's £10 million share of the British Government’s winter survival package reached its three-month expiry, with clubs given the choice of accessing individual loans, sharing a central loan or suspending the campaign altogether.

The decision to make any future funding in the form of loans rather than grants angered many clubs across the National League’s three divisions, leaving the continuation of the North and South divisions, in particular, uncertain.

Only a handful of clubs had been able to let supporters into their grounds at any point during the season and, after the surge in coronavirus cases, all games have been without crowds.

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Published February 19, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated February 18, 2021 at 7:42 pm)

National League North and South declared null and void

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