Jersey Bulls join 60-strong protest group over FA decision
JERSEY BULLS have joined forces with over 60 non-league clubs to threaten legal action against the English FA if they do not reconsider their decision to scrap the 2019/20 season.
An open letter, penned by Northern Premier League side South Shields, was sent to FA headquarters yesterday requesting further consultation on a landmark call to declare all results from the seventh tier down null and void, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The announcement, made last Thursday, shocked the football community and leaves the likes of Jersey to ponder a second season in Combined Counties Division I, despite already having sealed promotion.
South Shields chairman Geoff Thompson – officially supported by 63 other clubs – offered a scathing review of those developments and even questioned the validity of the FA’s reasoning.
The joint-letter read: ‘The official FA statement states: "The FA and NLS Steps three to six have reached a consensus that their season will be brought to an end and all results will be expunged". No such consensus was ever reached [and] some leagues were barely consulted.
‘Why was the FA decision reached so hastily when there is plenty of time ahead?'
The letter also suggested the FA could face a legal charge if they refuse to budge.
‘Are clubs expected to foot the bill for playing a season of “friendlies”?’ it asked.
‘A crisis like this is a watershed moment for the FA and the relationship it chooses to have with non-league and grassroots football.
‘It is imperative to solve this issue sensibly and democratically, with transparent, constructive and fair dialogue with respective clubs and leagues. The alternative, which would not reflect well on the FA, is forcing clubs to embark on legal recourse.
‘It is patently unjust to have a season’s tireless work annulled in such a manner.’
Adding to the frustration is the FA’s decision not to include the top two levels of the National League in the ruling – potentially paving the way for teams in those divisions to complete their campaigns in the summer.
The letter added: ‘You cannot undermine the integrity of the footballing pyramid by applying a different set of rules to one group and not to the others.’
Bulls had voted for a ‘points-per-game’ conclusion to their debut season – an option that is likely to be favoured if the FA make what would be a remarkable U-turn.
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