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National League season to continue but North and South divisions declared null and void
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.
This outcome has been predicted virtually since the resolutions were issued.
However, the gap of more than two weeks has been filled by numerous clubs questioning the whole process.
Twenty-one games in the North and South leagues have been played over the past fortnight, with clubs now finding the cost incurred was unnecessary.
Those outfits could be forgiven for feeling aggrieved.
However, that frustration will be nothing compared to the seven clubs who said they did not want to play on in the National League.
I understand any club who refuses to fulfil its fixtures will be charged.
But if seven refuse to play – and two are yet to vote – is the league viable?
I spoke to someone in the EFL earlier who said promotion and relegation between the two leagues is still expected.
But will Barrow and Grimsby – the current bottom two – feel it is fair to be relegated if the league below has had a season where just over the half the teams completed it?
Thursday’s announcement brings an end to one long-running saga. But anyone who thinks it will end the argument is almost certainly mistaken.