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Grantham Town chairman reacts to club avoiding relegation

Grantham Town will avoid relegation this season after the Northern Premier League was declared void.

The Football Association has announced that all football in England below the National League will end immediately, with no promotion or relegation. Although, a number of clubs are lobbying the FA in protest of the decision.

The FA Council will reportedly rubber stamp this decision in a meeting due to take place on Thursday.

Darren Ashton (29695940)
Darren Ashton (29695940)

Town chairman Darren Ashton said: “We always said we’d go with the decision that is made. It will be rubber stamped by the FA Council on Thursday, until then we’re just holding tight."

Town sat 19th in the Premier Division, clear of the relegation zone, although teams below them such as Matlock Town had several games in hand.

Darren added: “There are clubs who believe the season should be played out, mainly sides who are in promotion spots. They have lobbied the FA. It’s unprecedented times, at the moment we’re just doing what government has told us to do. Staying at home.”

In a statement, the FA said: “We have been working collaboratively with the National League System (NLS), the women’s football pyramid and the wider grassroots game since the outbreak of COVID-19 on how to conclude the 2019-20 season in the most appropriate way possible.

“These are challenging circumstances for English football and all decisions taken are in the best interests of the game and in consultation across key stakeholders.

“Our primary concern will always be for the safety and welfare of clubs, players, staff, officials, volunteers and supporters during this unprecedented time.

“Today’s steps take into account the financial impact during this uncertain period, whilst considering the fairest method on how the sporting outcomes for the season will be decided with the integrity of the leagues in mind.

“The NLS and the women’s football pyramid were able to build a consensus amongst their leagues and, where possible, aimed to create a consistent approach across all leagues, whilst taking into account the unique characteristics of each individual league.

“As a result, The FA and NLS steps three to six have reached a consensus that their 2019-20 season will now be brought to an end, and all results will be expunged.

“This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between NLS steps three to six, and no promotion to NLS step two.

“These decisions will also apply to the leagues and clubs who play at NLS step seven.

“We will continue to assist and support the National League (NLS steps one and two) to determine the outcome of its 2019-20 season as quickly as possible. The planned implementation of the restructure of the NLS will also now be deferred until the start of the 2021-22 season.”

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