Worthing FC among 'growing swathe of clubs' looking to challenge FA decision over ending non-league season

Dan Kilpatrick
PA

Worthing FC, the leaders of the Isthmian Premier Division, are the latest club to voice their disapproval at the Football Association's decision to cancel the non-league season.

On Thursday, the FA announced the immediate end to the season for steps three to seven of England's non-league pyramid, with all results expunged.

The decision has prompted a widespread backlash from a number of clubs, and at least three promotion hopefuls – South Shields, Maldon and Tiptree and Hastings – have already threatened the governing body with legal action.

The decision is still to be ratified by the FA Council, and Worthing chairman Barry Hunter claims "a growing swathe of clubs" want to challenge the FA's call.

Worthing were seven points clear at the top of the table and headed for promotion to the National League South, with eight fixtures outstanding.

In a statement, Hunter said: "It has come to the club’s attention in the past 24 hours that the league's decision to call our season null and void is not final and is subject to further process and appeal.

"Accordingly, whilst we want to be cautious in managing expectations, its our intention to ensure our voice is heard.

"There are several ways we will do this, both individually as a club and collectively with a growing swathe of other clubs joining the cause. Indeed we are in touch and working with a number of clubs to deliver our message to the FA.

"Our view as a management committee is that, had we had the ability to provide input, we would have strongly advised that the season should not have been declared null and void.

"Instead, we unanimously agree that it should be allowed to conclude whenever safe to do so. That way a number of things could be achieved.

1. It would be a fair way of concluding the season.

2. Any implications and impact could be pushed into next season, where any treatment can be applied equally to everyone on a level playing field.

3. To be treated equally with all clubs throughout the football pyramid, including the professional and National league competition."

All professional football in England is suspended until at least April 30, while the National League – steps one and two of England's non-league pyramid – remains in talks with the FA and all 68 clubs about a way to finish the campaign, with or without playing further matches.

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