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Play-offs in the National League North and South back on the table

Play-offs in the National League North and South are understood to back on the table with the resolution likely to be sent out to clubs for voting today.

Step 1 and Step 2 will be asked to give the go-ahead on the season finishing with an unweighted Points Per Game table, as has been applied in League One and League Two.

The resolution had been due to be sent out on Sunday but was delayed with league chiefs taking on board the views of clubs who would be in the Step 2 play-offs on PPG.

The NLP revealed clubs had been told last Wednesday night – ahead of club meetings on Thursday – that play-offs in the North and South looked set to be cancelled because they didn’t comply with the government guidance around elite athletes. 

That news went down badly among most potential play-off managers and, over the weekend, they have been in regular dialogue in a bid to get them played. 

Havant & Waterlooville quickly called upon local MP Alan Mak who wrote to Minister for Sport Nigel Huddlestone and then, in a publicly released letter to National League chairman Brian Barwick, stated that “the Government has not expressed a view about whether the National League and/or the National League South are – or are not – “elite”…”

That appears to have cleared the way for clubs to vote on playing them. If passed by a majority will mean Barrow are promoted to the Football League with King’s Lynn and Wealdstone champions of the North and South, respectively. National League clubs get one vote each while North and South have four per division – the FA Council will also have to ratify the decision. 

Play-off clubs will have to agree to the costs and protocols if they want to take part with a minimum of four required.

At Step 1, the PPG method would see Barnet jump from 11th up to seventh, with Stockport County elbowed out of the final play-off spot.

Step 1 clubs have been told the play-offs will commence by July 18 latest with the final likely to be played on the first weekend of August at a neutral ground – likely a National League ground – rather than the usual Wembley home of the league’s showpiece.

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