Daggers’ Thompson calls for ‘null and void’ season in National League

PUBLISHED: 10:30 31 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:36 31 March 2020

Sam Deering of Dagenham and Connor Dimaio of Stockport earlier this season. Picture: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Sam Deering of Dagenham and Connor Dimaio of Stockport earlier this season. Picture: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Dagenham & Redbridge’s managing director Steve Thompson has called for the National League season to be “null and void” because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The National League are still yet to make a decision on how the season will be brought to an end and if promotion and relegation will take place, with discussions ongoing this week.

Last week, the league issued a statement asking the Football Association (FA) for assistance to help “end the season as soon as possible for the purposes of player contracts”, many of which are due to expire in May.

In a statement on Saturday, the Daggers director said he expected a decision to be made soon on how the season will end.

“With regard to the continued suspension or cancellation of the Vanarama National League for the current season, this is still being debated within the league itself,” Thompson said.

“There are many things to consider, not least the welfare of the players and other staff, but also issues around possible promotion and relegation, as well as also the practicalities of preparing for a new season.

“I understand that all 68 clubs within the National League are likely to be consulted in the coming week about possible options, so I am sure that this will be resolved shortly.

“However, with the current rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, and more tragically the rise in the number of deaths, I personally believe that football is completely irrelevant at this time of national emergency and perhaps just the cancellation of the season and making results to date null and void is the only real option.”

Divisions at step three to six, those below the National League North and South, of the non-league pyramid were last week declared null and void with no promotion or relegation taking place.

The decision has caused a backlash with over 60 clubs from non-league and grassroots football writing to the FA to express their “profound concern and displeasure”.

It accuses the FA of acting with “needless and inexplicable haste” and said it was “coupled with (a) total lack of substantive dialogue or consultation with affected clubs”.

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