National League general manager offers Chorley and other clubs who voted to carry on playing a potential lifeline

Mark Ives has handed the National League South and North clubs who voted to carry on playing in 2020/21 a potential lifeline.

By Craig Salmon
Monday, 1st March 2021, 8:00 am

The second tier of non-league football saw their seasons declared null and void on February 18 after 25 out of the 43 clubs voted to end the season in the wake of a financial crisis brought about by a Government decision to only offer loans instead of grants.

The Magpies were one of the 18 clubs who voted to carry on to put their names to a letter to the league’s general manager Mark Ives calling for them to be allowed to carry on playing the season to a finish.

In an interview with BBC Three Counties Radio today, Ives said the National League are happy to consider those proposals.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Connor Hall in action for Chorley. The Magpies want to continue playing this season despite the majority of clubs in the National League North and South voting to cancel season

"It’s in the best interests of the league to listen to all the clubs, that’s the right thing to do,’ he said.

"Do I believe there should be an opportunity to consider an alternative, viable solution? Yes I do.

"The resolution (to null and void the season) put forward is not binding, the FA can turn it down - the FA have responsibility for the Non-League System.

"Do I think it’s in the league’s best interests to present everything to the FA? Yes, certainly I do. Should we be looking at all opportunities? Of course we should."

Ives admits restarting the South and North seasons in whatever format ‘opens up a lot of questions.

"Would we need another vote, would there be two divisions, would there be one division, would teams play each other twice or once?

"So many questions would need to be answered - that’s the challenge to try and take things forward.

"We owe it to the clubs to consider every possible avenue.

"The clubs who didn’t vote to play on have to be treated fairly as well. It’s not a binary issue, is it?

"The league is committed to being fair to all 66 clubs."

Support us and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.