Monday Morning Quarterback 2019-2020 – What Next – What Options Does the League Have?
Well with the fast pacing change across our country, and as the world imposes lockdown’s, today’s article is a quick look at the real options the Southern League has in its league meeting later this evening.
As the Premier League and EFL continue to argue over money and when the league season should be restarted, talks of playing games behind closed doors, that can be broadcasted live on TV into people’s homes are naïve, as if players and their families are of less concern than the general populous, especially as a much more stricter lockdown and travel plans are to be enforced over the coming weeks and months.
On Sky Sports there have been debates around how the FA should help the EFL, who are both demanding financial support, but not once did the tv experts mention or show any concern for non-league football.
Without doubt virtually all the non-league clubs are in a more worrying financial place, as the season is on hold and whether it will be temporary or permanent for this season.
Requests have gone in for financial support to the Football Association and are no doubt hoping for that support, similar to the EFL.
Meanwhile, what options does the Southern League have when they discuss what to do with this current football season? A good question and here are just a few possible options.
- The league could be continued in some form from May, and assuming it would have to finish in a fair manner, such as each team has to play 30 or 32 games. This would allow the season to be stopped by the end of May, but would be open to misuse as some teams could try to schedule more favourable matches at home or away games against lesser teams.
- The league season restarts in May or later and continues till it’s completion, playoffs and league restructuring? However, as no restart date is clear, this leaves an uncertain future ahead, and what happens to the reseeding, re-turfing of pitches and when and for how long would the start of any new season be delayed.
Two other options would require the FA to support a financial package to all clubs in the lower leagues.
- The league takes the decision to make the season null and void, and everybody starts again in August or September. This would then allow pitches to be worked on, but would be unfair against those promotion playoff teams. I am certain a number of teams would challenge this.
- The option most likely and fundamentally the obvious one to me, is if the league gets its financial support that it hopes from the FA, it can simply stop the season where it is now, then make a decision on promotion, any relegation and the possible restructuring of the leagues. This would also allow the groundwork to be started when appropriate and players their families and officials to stay safe.
Whether the Southern League chooses this last option will be interesting, but what all fans are wanting is a decision.
So if the Southern League does decide to stop the season now, below is the FA rules for step 4 this season and the final league places. But if the league chooses not to restructure the league this season, then teams may not face relegation.
Promotion is back to normal at Step 4 this season. The champion and playoff winner from each division will go up.
At Step 4, the bottom side will go into a playoff with against a Step 5 side. The match will be hosted by the Step 4 side and the winner will play at Step 4 the following season with the loser playing at Step 5.
The Top Five in Our League
|Thatcham Town (C)||27||18||4||5||58|
Whilst the bottom of our league looks like this and would possibly relegate Barnstaple Town?
|Barnstaple Town (R)||27||5||1||21||16|
* Point deducted for illegal player.
Our Basingstoke Town Goal Scoring Chart would finish like this.
|Name||League Goals||Cup Goals||Total|
|Zach Robinson *||3||3||6|
|Bradley Wilson *||4||0||4|
|Reece Rusher *||1||0||1|
* Players no longer with the club
I am sure information from the meeting today will likely be leaked overnight, and this will be interesting to understand, before the statement officially is announced!