Coronavirus – The FA bring Non-league season to an end – FA Vase planned to go ahead
Many North East clubs have seen their season cut short due to COVID-19 as The FA and Leagues at Steps 3 to 6 will be ended with immediate effect.
Crucially though, The FA have not offically cancelled the FA Vase which is currently at the semi-final stage.
Northern League clubs Hebburn Town and Consett are in the final four of the competition and hope to progress to the final at Wembley.
As a result of the league cancellation promotion and relegation has been ruled out.
The FA said: “As a result, The FA and NLS steps three to six have reached a consensus that their 2019-20 season will now be brought to an end, and all results will be expunged.
“This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between NLS steps three to six, and no promotion to NLS step two.
“These decisions will also apply to the leagues and clubs who play at NLS step seven.”
Clubs such as South Shields, Spennymoor Town, Gateshead and many near the top of our reigonal divisions will have their promotion pushes cut short.
Northern Leagues 1 & 2 are within the Steps mentioned and the division is hoped to resume in 2020/2021.
Martin Swales, manager of Northern League side Sunderland RCA, said:
“My immediate reaction was shock. I thought they would have played it week to week. From a selfish point of view it’s good for us to re-group and speak to players regarding next season.”
Assistant manager Mark Cowan, said: “If I’m being honest, I think if you’d asked me a week or 2 ago I would’ve said that the league would’ve been concluded after a 3 week break or so.
“As the Coronavirus situation is changing daily and the financial impact it’s having on all teams, irrespective of level a decision had to be made sooner rather than later.
“Obviously it won’t go do well with everyone but at least everyone now knows where they stand and can plan accordingly for the new season (hopefully in August).”
Grassroots football has also commenced for the 2019/2020 season.