Stourbridge chairman: Draw a line under the season

Stourbridge chairman Andy Pountney believes the FA must act swiftly to declare the non-league season finished and allow clubs to begin assessing the damage of the coronavirus shutdown.

Stourbridge Chairman Andy Pountney
Stourbridge Chairman Andy Pountney

Football is currently suspended until early April at the earliest, but Pountney believes it is ‘ludicrous’ to think semi-professional and amateur leagues could somehow resume during the summer.

The FA held a meeting yesterday with representatives from throughout the non-league pyramid to discuss how best to proceed and an announcement is expected sometime this week, possibly as early as today.

It will impact a host of clubs throughout the Midlands including Stourbridge, Kidderminster Harriers, AFC Telford, Hednesford Town, Halesowen Town, Rushall Olympic, Stafford Rangers and Chasetown.

Though the Premier League and EFL have expressed a desire to see their seasons completed, whenever that might be, the sentiment is not the same at the lower levels of the sport, with clubs like Stourbridge eager to know where they stand on issues such as player contracts.

Pountney does not want to see the campaign declared null and void, but believes leagues should be decided on a points-per-game average.

Stour currently sit sixth in the Evo-Stik Central Premier and he said: “Such a solution does not help us at all, but I think it is the best for everyone.

“You can’t just pretend the season hasn’t happened as we are too far in, but the quicker it is declared finished the better. To be honest we are desperate for the FA to make a decision.

“Anyone who thinks we can just pick up where we left off in three months time is living in cloud cuckoo land.

“It is ludicrous to suggest we could still be playing this season in June and July.

“There is a lot to sort out and clubs need to know where they stand with things like player contracts. The sooner a decision is made the better.”

Yesterday’s FA meeting involved representatives from the National League, Northern League and Southern League along with a host of regional leagues.

Pountney said: “We are hoping to get an answer, possibly on Tuesday, as to what has been decided, though there are a lot of different leagues involved so it could be a bit longer.

“There are more important things than football going on at the moment. The sooner we know where we stand the quicker we can start addressing any issues. If football has to be put to bed for a bit, then so be it.”

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