Why ‘non elite’ non-league season has to be null and voided again – AFC Portchester chairman Kelly

AFC Portchester chairman Paul Kelly has called on the authorities to scrap the current season and start afresh in 2021-22.

Sunday, 24th January 2021, 12:48 pm
AFC Portchester chairman Paul Kelly. Picture: Malcolm Wells

The Royals' committee are in agreement that would be the best way to conclude this term.

Alternative options of restarting the ongoing season in August - if safe to do so - determining promotion in 'mini competitions' or using points per game from the previous two campaigns have all been suggested.

However, Kelly was adamant that null and void was the only way to go.

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‘We had a committee meeting via Zoom; obviously we all want to play football, but we understand given the current situation it has to be null and void,' he declared.

'We’re not in favour of extending the season. There’s a suggestion that it restarts in August on this season’s results - we’re dead against that.

‘We just want to play football as soon as possible but, you know, when you look at it that they’re not going to ease restrictions and regulations until probably Easter.

‘It’s unrealistic that the season will actually get started at all.

‘Null and void, no promotions, no relegations and restart again.'

Kelly would welcome the idea of 'mini competitions' being introduced to provide players with competitive action prior to the start of the next Wessex League season.

He also believes it's not right for the rulebook to be ripped up because of the pandemic.

‘There’s one in there (on the FA survey) about a mini competition,' he added.

‘We’d be up for playing that, if allowed to do so, but what we don’t agree with is that little competition being decided for promotion or relegation.

‘I feel very strongly that the season should be finished and decided, promotion and relegation, on the season being completed rather than points per game.

‘I don’t feel that they can change the rules halfway or a third of a way through the season.

‘The league should be decided on what the rules are at the start of the season, rather than change them through the season after something like this has happened.'