Confusion over National League season as Boreham Wood chairman claims campaign "is NOT cancelled for forseeable future"
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On Tuesday it was said that the National League “wishes to resume the season at some point” following the suspension of all fixtures until at least April 3 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
But later on Tuesday, National League chief executive, Mike Tattersall, sent out a statement to all clubs saying that The FA have been asked to assist with officially postponing all remaining fixtures and to end the season as soon as possible for the purposes of player contracts.
“The National League is also working with The FA to define all reasonable and practical options for the determination of the 2019/20 season,” the statement said.
But Boreham chairman Mr Hunter has since sought clarification from Mr Tattersall and says as of 10pm on Wednesday, the National League would like to resume the season.
“Basically the National League are saying that it is shut down for now, but it does want to find any way possible to finish this season and they would, in an ideal world, like to restart and finish this season’s league between say June, July, August or even September of this year, government guidelines permitting,” Mr Hunter told Boreham’s official club website.
Mr Hunter said that this would mean the 2020/2021 season would then have to be extended into possibly May or June.
He also said that the National League has told him they would do its utmost to follow whatever the decision of the English Football League is and align with them.
He added that it is his understanding that the National League’s view is that promotion and relegation is “paramount to our league, no matter what the cost.”
“However, for a long standing chairman and owner of 21 years and counting, the cost cannot for a small community club be ‘whatever the cost’, he said.
“It has also, and I’m repeating myself for a reason, been explained to me that the National League will if at all possible want to align itself, with the EFL finishing their competition.
“Which means we do not worry too much about what the Premier League are doing, as they have their own problems to overcome. Namely the Premier League must finish their league competition by July 13 or possibly risk losing over £750m in TV monies… let alone all the other endorsements, sponsorships, and other worldwide TV monies.”
Mr Hunter expained that by trying to align with the EFL all promotions, relegations and play-offs can only be setteled after they know what the EFL is doing.
He added: “While we await further instruction and guidance from both the FA and National League we must try to clarify things like new transfer windows, any new rules regarding the signing of new players and those falling out of contract on April 25, while learning what the new loan rules might look like going forward.
“So to clarify, we believe that all non-league clubs at steps 3, 4, 5, 6 and below, might now find their leagues finished? If true, they will have all their relegation and promotion decisions put on hold, until ourselves and the EFL play out our remaining league games or make our final decisions.
“The National League clubs at steps 1 and 2, which in layman's terms are the National League Premier, North and South, are for now put on hold… but for complete clarity as has been explained to me as of 10pm last night, the National League competition is not cancelled for the foreseeable future.”