Harrogate Town not in favour of cancelling National League season - but understand decision to do so

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver says he understands why National League members have voted in favour of ending the 2019/20 regular season now, even though his own club were against the idea.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 3:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 3:08 pm
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver. Picture: Tony Johnson

A statement released on Wednesday afternoon confirmed that all fixtures up until April 25 in England’s fifth and sixth tiers would be cancelled.

The National League, whose board recommended that clubs passed their resolution to scrap outstanding fixtures, will now poll members on how they wish to decide issues of promotion and relegation.

“We wouldn’t have been the only club to have wanted the season to be extended as long as possible, but I think this was the expected outcome,” Weaver said.

“We voted against the resolution and stayed consistent with what we have wanted all along - the opportunity to try and complete our fixtures at some point in the future - but I can understand why other clubs have gone the other way.

“At least we all know where we stand in terms of fixtures up to April 25, and all is not lost from our point of view.

“Whether promotion is decided on current league standings, points-per-game record or we end up with some kind of play-off system, we are still in the mix.

“It’s in our league rules that two teams go up, and it’s in the EFL rules that two come down. The next vote will be to decide how we determine who goes up and I think it will be very interesting to see how it’s all resolved.”

Although not all of the member clubs asked to vote on cancelling the remaining league fixtures had responded by Wednesday afternoon, the National League announced that an overwhelming majority had opted to back their proposal.

A league statement revealed: 'In the knowledge that the ordinary resolution has passed, the league’s board has chosen to communicate the decision now and before the last few responses are received, which will not change the outcome, to enable clubs to make business decisions with greater clarity as soon as possible.

'Clubs yet to respond still have an opportunity to do so, and the league wishes to include as many preferences as possible before the final voting result is declared.'

'The options concerning the sporting outcomes of the 2019/20 season remain under careful and timely consideration, and further updates will be given in due course.'

Town sat second in the National League standings when competition was suspended on March 16, four points behind leaders Barrow with nine games left to play.