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Board statement: Cancellation of fixtures

Our response to National League vote result

22 April 2020

Our board of directors have issued the following statement after the National League today announced that the majority of its clubs have voted to cancel the remaining matches of the 2019-20 season, with a further vote to follow on how the outcomes of the campaign should be decided.

We would like to place on record our disappointment that the 2019-20 Vanarama National League season has been brought to a premature end.
 
While we appreciate the views of other clubs and respect the overall outcome of this vote as a representation of opinion across the three divisions, our stance has always been that the National League should operate in tandem with the EFL due to the intrinsic link between the two leagues.
 
We were therefore opposed to this vote being imposed – particularly as there was no clear indication of what the next steps would be in terms of deciding the conclusion of the season, including end-of-season play-offs and matters concerning promotion and relegation.
 
We have written to the National League on a number of occasions over the past month with detailed, constructive and well-considered options for how we believe the league can be concluded, thus giving clubs involved at both ends of the table a fair opportunity to compete for what they deserve.
 
One of such proposals would lead to clubs in less promising or precarious positions being able to conclude their season once and for all, leaving the others to resolve matters in the spirit of the competition over a short time period.
 
We thank the National League for allowing us to submit our thoughts and hope they are duly considered by the board and its executive to enable them to provide a fair way of deciding these huge outcomes in the next stage of voting.
 
To be clear, while all remaining scheduled league matches have been cancelled, we are not ruling out a return to action in some form between now and the formal conclusion of the 2019-20 campaign. We will therefore continue to ask our players to train remotely and, as a club, we’ll make sure we’re ready to resume our push for promotion if we’re given the opportunity we feel we and others deserve.
 
We’d also like to advise our supporters that no decision has yet been taken by the FA on how this season’s Trophy campaign will be concluded. We’re mindful that hundreds of our fans purchased tickets for the first leg of our semi-final away to Harrogate Town and appreciate their patience. As soon as we have an update on what’s planned for the competition, we’ll circulate it.
 
In the meantime we look forward to hearing from the National League with regards to what the next round of voting will entail, with the continued hope that our fight for an immediate return to the EFL isn’t over.
 

Stay home, stay safe and thank you for your amazing continued support.


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