OPINION: FA need to show real leadership over non-league crisis
All over the country, non-league clubs are waiting to find out what is going to happen to the 2020-2021 season as the national Lockdown continues to halt any games being played.
It’s been clear for a while that the season would not reach a natural conclusion and clubs had until last Friday to answer a survey which asked what they would prefer to happen instead, with options ranging from null and voiding the campaign to playing as much as possible and then deciding matters using Points Per Game.
Personally, I think the survey stinks of a token gesture and the FA clearly think being shown to consult with clubs will earn them some credit.
However, do they really expect there to be an overwhelming majority amongst clubs? Clubs will vote for what is best for them, as is their right.
Also, the FA gave several options on the survey and if they wanted to try and get a majority, they should have simplified things and minimised the choices.
The FA need to show real leadership. I don’t know who at the FA is in charge of non-league, but I imagine they’re paid well, and they need to justify their position.
They should make a decision and then tell clubs they will just have to deal with it. They’re never going to please everyone; they should stop trying.
Ultimately, the FA are paying the price for null and voiding the 2019-2020 season at the time of the first lockdown.
Ending the season was understandable given the unprecedented nature of what was happening but the decision to expunge all results means they’re now battling to avoid two seasons going to waste.
Clubs are scared of that happening and as such, have started applying pressure on the FA to make sure it doesn’t. Momentum is growing behind the “Project Non-League” campaign on social media which has provided what they believe is a detailed answer to the issue. As expected, all the clubs who have come out in support of this suggestion stand to benefit from it.
It’s a complex issue and as I mentioned before, there is never going to be a solution which pleases everyone. Ultimately, the FA exist to make these tough decisions and that’s exactly what they need to do.