08:31PM, Thursday 18 February 2021
Slough Town’s season is over after clubs voted in favour of cancelling the National League North and South divisions and declaring the results null and void.
The results of a series of resolutions were revealed by the National League this evening (Thursday) and as expected, clubs in the National League National Division voted to carry on behind closed doors, while clubs at step 2 opted to end the season with no promotion or relegation to or from the divisions.
Clubs in all three divisions have been returning their votes on the resolutions over the past couple of weeks. The first resolution, to enable clubs vote on their own level, was passed with 21 National League clubs in favour and none against. In the North division 16 were in favour and six against while only nine were in favour of the resolution in the South division, but it was passed with a clear majority.
A simple majority was therefore needed at each level for the league to carry on or be cancelled.
In Maidenhead United’s league 13 clubs voted for the season to continue behind closed doors, with funding – likely to be in the form of loans – available from Sport England to cover the cost of playing without fans.
Seven clubs did vote to terminate the season, however, so it will be interesting to see if they now fall in line with the others and play out the season or take steps which could threaten the integrity of the competition. Promotion and relegation to and from the Football League will be maintained, but no side will be relegated from Maidenhead’s division this season.
At step 2 the National League North clubs were heavily in favour of cancelling the season, with 15 voting in favour and seven against but in the South division only nine clubs voted to null and void. However, the vote was carried by 24 to 19.
Two votes from the National League Division are yet to be cast, but they would not have affected the outcome of the resolutions.
A statement from the National League confirmed that fixtures in the North and South divisions would now cease with immediate effect.
Reflecting on the vote, Slough Town’s joint manager Jon Underwood tweeted: “Understand clubs will have mixed feelings on the outcome but in my opinion, it was the only solution. One thing we can all agree on was that football just wasn’t the same without fans. Let’s pray we can return to normal for next season.”
It’s likely to be a formality, but the FA still needs to give final ratification to the outcome of the votes.
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