South Shields has threatened to sue the Football Federation following the decision to end the 2019/20 season with immediate effect for clubs in stages 3 to 6 of the non-championship pyramid.
The shields were ready for promotion to the National Northern League at the end of the campaign, 12 points ahead of Manchester United’s closest rival FC United in BetVictor Premier Division.
However, all football has stopped and the results have been deleted, which means that South Shields will have another season in its current division – even if it already plans to spend next season in the National Northern League.
Club president Geoff Thompson castigated the decision after it was announced and wrote that Shields “would seek an appeal or take legal action” against the FA.
And Shields then issued a lengthy statement to express their frustration, and they officially announced their intention to appeal the decision if possible.
Legal advice is another option if the FA’s response “does not satisfy” the club, the statement added.
The statement said, “In the past few weeks, the coronavirus epidemic has reminded all of us – as if we needed it – that football is just a game.
“Health must always take priority over sport and it is a virus that does not discriminate. It touched all of us, and health and livelihoods are rightly a cause of great concern around the world.
“Our belief is that football will have a key role to play when life returns to normal, when it happens.
“Football links us so much and is important to so many lives. Not important in the grand scheme of life and health, but important nonetheless. He offers release to so many people once or twice a week and people around the world spend a large part of their lives following their team and striving for every ounce of joy they bring. At its best, it’s just a joyful game.
“For this reason, we do not apologize for expressing our feelings about the FA’s decision to declare the 2019-20 season null and void from the third leg of the out-of-league system.
“As has been well documented, before the season was interrupted following the coronavirus epidemic just 10 days ago, South Shields led the BetVictor Northern Premier Division, 12 points behind our rivals the closer with nine games to play.
“We will never know how the rest of the campaign would have gone, but we are confident that our exceptional players and management would have finished the job and sealed the promotion to the National Northern League.
“Having this prospect removed so quickly is something that all of the players and club staff have a hard time understanding.
“We don’t understand the rush that took place in many quarters of the out-of-league match to end the season so quickly.
“We recognize that many clubs simply do not have the resources to continue paying players and staff during a forced layoff like this, with so much uncertainty about the return of football. But wouldn’t it have been more prudent to keep the season suspended until it was safe to return, to end the contracts as they would usually end after the end of the season, to allow the clubs to replenish teams when the situation is clearer, then to end this campaign when the opportunity arises?
“The FA decision has effectively punished those clubs lower in the non-league system who have worked tirelessly over the past six months to progress through the pyramid. We are alongside many other clubs who are in a similar situation and have already started a dialogue with some of them on the best path to follow. We will write to the AF in the strongest possible terms so that they are not in uncertainty about our feelings, and will seek to appeal if there is a mechanism to do so. If we are not satisfied with the response, we will seek legal advice.
“We will investigate whether, with all the results for the 2019-20 season now canceled, all fines paid to the FA following the players’ withdrawal of yellow and red cards in these matches will now be refunded. We will investigate whether the FA will now reimburse all tickets purchased by supporters for these canceled matches. We will ask for clarification as to whether the FA will reimburse the costs incurred by clubs in the past six months for the coach journey to away matches, which in our case amounts to approximately £ 20,000. We have several more questions and look forward to the FA’s response.
Give the red card to COVID-19
The sooner we work together to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the faster we can go back to pubs, gymnasiums, stadiums and arenas to watch the sport live…
STAY AT HOME. Leave only for the following purposes:
- to buy basic items – only when you really need it
- do some form of exercise a day – like running, walking or biking, alone or with other people you live with
- for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
- to and from work – but only when absolutely necessary
For more information and advice, visit the NHS website.
The government has also released more details on what we can do during the foreclosure.
Everyone should do what they can to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“Another concern is that if the coronavirus is to be” beaten “over the summer months to return to a scary second wave next winter, next season’s results will also be canceled. We strongly suggest that the FA rules be changed now so that such injustices do not happen again in the future. If the seasons cannot be finished, we do not agree at all that they should be recorded in the history books. There are fairer ways to draw a line under things, including applying a point-to-match ratio in the standings and potentially promoting those in promotion positions and sparing those in relegation places, which the fact that some leagues were slightly more numerous in the following campaign.
“We are looking forward to seeing how the National League season is finalized. What is the reason why FA allowed the third stage of the non-league system to descend from the pyramid in this way?
“We are also looking forward to the future to see how other leagues higher up the pyramid – particularly the Premier League – should be concluded if football is no longer possible. Will the Premier League also be null and void if this happens?
“The 2019-20 season has taught us a lot, on and off the field. We would like to pay a huge tribute to everyone who participated, from our players and our staff to our exceptional supporters, sponsors and volunteers. Your support is incredible and we are sorry that the end of the season is not what you all deserve. We are even more determined to go back there next season and give him absolutely everything we have to promote in 2020-2021, so keep the faith.
“We face enormous financial challenges during the summer months and greatly appreciate all those who have shown incredible commitment to the club in recent weeks by purchasing season tickets for early risers , goods and donations. You will all be able to buy club shares once the current uncertain situation becomes clearer, as we previously promised.
“We don’t know when the 2020-21 season will start. This will depend on the evolution of the current global health crisis in the coming months.
“We are impatiently awaiting the return of football to Mariners Park and we can see our supporters again. The next few months are going to be very long for more than one reason, but we will be back, and we are sure you will be too.
“Please continue to follow government advice and stay home as much as possible.” There will be a day when this virus will be a dreadful memory but there are of course many difficult days to come.
“Thank you again for your continued support and please remain safe. We wish you and your families the best of health. There are much better days to come. “
Thompson was not alone in criticizing the FA’s decision to immediately end the out-of-league football season, along with former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, who became co-owner of Salford City during their non-vacation league, writing on Twitter: someone explains to me what. force non-league divisions to cancel season? We have been there with @SalfordCityFC for 5 years, so we have some experience and I don’t understand !! Help me!”