February 25 – After weeks of uncertainty, non-league play in England has been restricted below the top two tiers for the second consecutive season.

More than 75% of clubs in steps 3 through 6 of the non-league pyramid voted in a poll to end the campaign if games could not be played with fans before April 1.

It is the second year in a row that the non-league season has been prematurely canceled after last season’s results were declared null and void in March.

While the decision is a blow to thousands of grassroots fans, it won’t come as a complete surprise as most clubs had only played a handful of league games before the sport was suspended before Christmas. With no broadcasting contract in place at this level of the game, almost all clubs rely on fans coming over the turnstiles and cash receipts to make ends meet.

“During this process, taking into account the views of the clubs and leagues, it was decided that an extension of the 2020-21 league season beyond the end of May 2021 is not a viable option,” said a statement from the English association.

“This was due to a variety of considerations, including the financial impact on many clubs, player contracts, and the extent of fixture planning problems caused by the national lockdown and various postponements that resulted in 81 percent of games remaining for Steps 3 and 4 and 75 percent had to be completed in steps 5 and 6.

“Given the survey results and the ongoing impact of Covid-19, which continues to adversely affect club incomes for both spectators and hospitality due to the restrictions, our Alliance and League Committees have reached a consensus that is subject to approval by FA The Council, the 2020-21 league season for steps 3 to 6 of the NLS should be shortened with immediate effect, as there will be no further league games this season. “

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