National League North and South season terminated – but Step 1 to play on

National League North and South will cease with immediate effect and be declared null and void – but the Step 1 season is to carry on.

Clubs supported a resolution that allowed each Step to make a decision on the fate of their own seasons.

A majority at Step 1 want to carry on their campaign but 24 of the 43 Step 2 clubs voted in favour of null and void.

Voting on whether to continue or terminate the season came following the news that there would be no further grants coming from the government.

The season kicked-off behind closed doors thanks to a £10m grant through the National Lottery promotional fund.

But clubs say they were also under the impression that further grant funding would be forthcoming if fans weren’t allowed back in.

The DCMS deny that ever being the case and say the Sport Winter Survival Fund, distributed by Sport England, that offers low interest loans, with repayment breaks, will help clubs, while grants available in exceptional circumstances.

Some clubs are adamant they will not take loans just to finish the season and a number at Step 2 have chosen not to fulfil fixtures while the voting outcome was still up in there.

There are two votes from the National Division that have not yet been cast, however, the outcome of the resolutions cannot be affected by these votes, however they are cast. 

With the voting procedure now closed, National League North and South fixtures will cease with immediate effect.

The National League Board will take the resolution outcome to The Football Association for ratification. This will include dialogue regarding promotion and relegation. 

At the beginning of the month, clubs were asked to vote on a series of Resolutions over whether the season continued or terminated.

Resolution One asked clubs if they wanted to split the voting between Steps so North and South could make a different decision to that at Step 1.

As a Special Resolution, it needed 75 per cent majority to pass and is counted under prescribed voting conditions where Step 1 clubs get one vote while there are eight shared between the two Step 2 leagues.

That passed with the required majority on Thursday morning – 21 National League clubs in favour with none against while North and South were split 16-6 and 9-12 respectively – meaning the voting took the path or Resolutions Two and Three.

Resolution Two for Step 1 clubs asked if the “season should be declared null and void with immediate effect and promotion and relegation suspended for 2020-21”.

The National League clubs voted 7-13 against the Resolution meaning the season will continue.

Resolution Three was the same but for clubs at Step 2 and was based on one vote per member.

In the National League North, 15 clubs voted for the season to end with seven against. In the South, 12 voted for continuation with nine calling for null and void. Combined the totals are 24-19 in favour of ending the 2020-21 season.

Under the National League’s Articles of Association, clubs had 28 days to respond but the outcome, as was always planned, has been announced as soon as known.

Steps 3-6 are currently suspended and last week the FA released a statement saying they will wait until Monday’s announcement of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown before announcing a final decision. Clubs have been surveyed over their thoughts on the season’s conclusion.

The boards of the Southern, Isthmian and Northern Premier League have expressed their preference for null and void.

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