What next for West Yorkshire's non-league clubs?
This week’s saw the end of the line for some teams' seasons.
On Thursday, the FA announced that all men’s football below the National League North & South was officially finished for the season, and the results would be null and void. Spare a thought for South Shields FC, 12 points clear at the top of the Northern Premier League.
Whilst this would have had ramifications higher up the pyramid anyway, it emerged on Wednesday that the National League was looking to officially end their season as well.
Per a statement sent to clubs, and appearing on the Bradford PA website, the League said “The FA have been asked to assist us with making the decisions to officially postpone all remaining National League 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, and to provide guidance to Clubs on dealing with player contracts, player registrations and the application of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.”
So, whilst the end of the season in tiers five and six is not yet official, it certainly appears to be on the way.
Feel for Barrow, this season dubbed “Barrowcelona” by some, four points clear of Harrogate at the top of the National League and looking good for promotion back to the Football League for the first time in nearly half a century.
We do not yet know for sure that there will be no promotion or relegation at this level. Note the phrase “working with The FA to define all reasonable and practical options for the determination of the 2019/20 season.” No decision has yet been made about what happens to these clubs, and with the demise of Bury over the summer, a free space remains in League 2.
This means a nervous and uncertain wait for clubs like Bradford PA and Halifax Town.
PA currently sit rock bottom of the National League North and are a long way off safety. Regardless of what happens to the National League season however, they can surely be hopeful that the absence of promotion from the NPL must make them safe for the time being.
Halifax, meanwhile, are in a playoff place a division higher. Having been pushing for promotion to League 2 all season, they will not want all that hard work to go to waste.
We’ll keep you updated with any decisions that do get made on air and online. In the meantime…