League chief admits behind closed doors matches are not feasible

Matches at The Walks behind closed doors would not be feasible Picture: Ian Burt

Matches at The Walks behind closed doors would not be feasible Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

The head of the National League says it is almost inevitable that the new season will not be able to meet its start date of August 8.

Chief executive Mike Tattersall also says that playing games behind closed doors is neither practical or sustainable.

King’s Lynn Town are one of the National League set-up’s teams anxiously awaiting news of what is to happen with the rest of the season.

The Linnets are second in National League North, two points behind York, but with two games in hand – if a points per game method is used to decide the ‘sporting issues’ Lynn would be promoted.

However, the National League have always said their decision will only follow when the EFL and its clubs have agreed a way to resolve the issues in the Championship and Leagues One and Two.

One of the issues is whether there will be a team relegated from League Two - and one of the provisos is that any club that does go down will only do so if the EFL know for certain that there will be a National League season to go into for 2020-2021.

The August 8 date is subject to the on-going pandemic.

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In a letter to all National League clubs, Tattersall wrote: “The start date for the 2020/21 season officially remains as 8 August 2020, but this will inevitably need to be reviewed and updated.

“In establishing a new commencement date, the board will be guided by the FA, the season dates decided for the EFL, the views of member clubs and the plans of the rest of the National League system.

“As it stands, it is assumed that it is not practical and sustainable to commence the new season if matches are to be played behind closed doors. If this view is not shared by your club or you have a comment to make on this matter, please do get in touch.”

The FA Council has already agreed to extend the National League season so play-offs, which would be behind closed doors, could go ahead – a scenario that, again, depends on what the EFL decide.

Tattersall added: “The National League is in regular dialogue with the EFL and they remain supportive of maintaining promotion and relegation with the National League at the end of 2019/20.”