Market Drayton Town supporting an end to season

Football | Published:

Chairman Mick Murphy has explained why Market Drayton Town are backing the decision to end the Northern Premier League season.

Mick Murphy

Lower non-League clubs voted to formally declare closed the 2019-20 campaign, although issues of promotion and relegation are yet to be decided.

Their decision must now be ratified by the Football Association because the Vanarama National League, in whose northern section AFC Telford United compete, want to complete their fixtures.

But, given the NPL’s request receives approval, Town’s battle against relegation from their South East division might have been won in what would then be their last game of a truly historic year. Three points gained at Wisbech saw Town leapfrog move up to second bottom in the table, two points ahead of the Fenmen, who dropped into the last and only relegation place, albeit with a game in hand.

Murphy issued a statement, saying: “The step three and four leagues share clubs’ frustration that it is taking so long to determine whether the 2019/20 season is to end now, and if so on what basis.

“To maintain the integrity of our competitions, we ideally need to apply one solution across all of the National League system. However, this may not be possible. The Northern Premier, Isthmian and Southern Leagues are unanimous in wanting to terminate the 2019-20 season immediately.

“Whether that is done on the basis of determining final placings via average points per game, using the current placings or by being declared null and void cannot be decided until the Vanarama National League decides how it wishes to proceed.

“Right now, the National League’s position is that they wish to be able to resume the 2019-20 season at some point. The feeder leagues do not support this because our clubs do not have the financial resources to continue to honour player contracts indefinitely.”


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