Truro City are one of 66 non-league clubs to have signed a letter to the Football Association in a bid to reverse its decision to declare the 2019/20 season null and void.

The decision to expunge all results and void all leagues in steps three to seven of the National League System in England, as well as tiers three to seven of the women’s non-league, was made on Thursday.

Several clubs, including the White Tigers, have expressed disappointment with the decision to end the season, and with the decision still pending official ratification from the FA Council, they have signed a joint letter to the FA in an attempt to change its mind.

Paul Wotton’s Truro side were one of several league leaders across the country at the time of the suspension of all football on March 16. The White Tigers were two points clear of second-placed Chesham United at the top of the Southern League Premier South and were on course for an instant return to the National League South.

Among the other signatories are Jersey Bulls, who had won all 27 games in their debut campaign in the step six Combined Counties League Division One and had already mathematically secured promotion to step five. Both teams would have to start all over again if the decision to null and void the season is ratified.

In the letter, the clubs state that their concerns are primarily the ‘needless and inexplicable haste’ in making a decision, a ‘total lack of substantive dialogue or consultation’ with clubs, and that the decision ‘disregards the millions of pounds invested and countless hours expended collectively by clubs’.

After discussions over the last few days, the clubs summed up their concerns into six key points, outlined in the letter as follows:

  • Why was the FA decision reached so hastily when there is plenty of time ahead in the coming weeks and months that can be utilised to sensibly consult with leagues and clubs?
  • The official FA statement states that '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', but no such consensus was ever reached.
  • Many leagues across the country assert that no vote had been put to them by the FA, and that leagues at steps five to six in particular felt the decision had already been made by the time they had been consulted, rendering the ‘consultation’ process insignificant.
  • Leagues and clubs at step seven of the non-league pyramid were not consulted whatsoever in the decision.
  • Why were clubs in steps one and two not in the same 'null and void' decision?
  • Voiding the season has immense financial implications on clubs, their sponsors and local communities.

The letter goes on to say that clubs involved have reached the consensus that it should ‘wait several weeks to see how the public health situation unfolds before deciding next steps’.

It also proposes a points-per-game method of determining final league positions, saying that ‘unlike expunging the season, [this method] is rooted in the results of fair and meritocratic competition, and bears reflection of the hard work that clubs across the country have poured in this season’.

The letter concludes by saying: ”We urge the FA to reconsider its decision and to slow down the whole process, offering proper consultation with afflicted leagues and clubs as the picture becomes clearer, before deciding a way forward.

“We stand ready to play our full part to help achieve a fair outcome, allowing the integrity of England’s football pyramid to be upheld in such a period of national adversity.”