Southern Football League declared cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic

Image: Bedford Town / Facebook

The Southern League, where Bedford Town and Kempston Rovers ply their trade, has been cancelled following a universal decision from the FA to call off every division under the National League, with all results declared null and void.

The Southern League had released a statement on Wednesday outlining their frustration at the lack of clarity about whether this season will finish immediately or not, with many clubs noting they cannot pay players and staff for an indefinite amount of time.

With many sporting competitions across the world being cancelled or postponed, the Southern League had backed their clubs, stating that the current situation cannot continue for much longer. However, the FA were quick to make a decision that will save many clubs from certain financial difficulties. They released a statement this afternoon:

“The FA and National League Setup 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 steps three to six.

We will continue to assist and support the National League (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 National League setup will also now be deferred until the start of the 2021-22 season.

Furthermore, we can now confirm that we have decided that all grassroots football is concluded for the 2019-20 season. This will allow the game to move forward and to commence planning for next season. Our County Football Associations will be supporting grassroots leagues over the coming days to determine how they should close out their current competitions.”

With neither club fighting for promotion or relegation, the final decision does not impact either Rovers or the Eagles too much, but both will be relieved that a final decision has been made so they can start planning for 2020/21.

Neither club have yet provided a comment.

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