As many of you will be aware a meeting of National League South clubs was held on Thursday, to discuss the conclusion of the 2019/2020 season. Prior to this meeting we were advised that a resolution was to be presented to enable final league placings to be determined on a Points Per Game (PPG) basis and that playoffs were unlikely to take place in the North and South divisions (Step 2).
The ability to stage playoffs comes as a result of interpretation of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport definition of an ‘Elite Athlete’. The conclusion reached was that playoffs can be played in the top flight of the National League (Step 1), but not at Step 2, since players in the North and South leagues are not considered as Elite Athletes.
We are disappointed at the decision. We stand in solidarity with fellow clubs occupying playoff places in the North and South divisions, and call on the National League to push for an explanation of how this decision was arrived at and evidence behind it.
We seek clarity from the National League around the criteria and protocols for staging playoff matches and greater details of associated costs.
In these tough and unprecedented times, the football landscape has changed beyond recognition, and to pursue this route we may need to call on the energy, resources and support of the Rebel Army.
We would like to place on record our pride at having achieved a 5th place finish in National League South, which is all credit to Neil, Jon, Trent and the entire playing squad.
We feel we have earned the right to participate in the playoffs after a successful season on the pitch.
We will now wait for further communication from the National League.
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