Royston Town miss out on promotion as FA voids non-league season due to Covid-19 outbreak

Royston Town have missed out on promotion after the FA voided the season. Picture: David Hatton

Royston Town have missed out on promotion after the FA voided the season. Picture: David Hatton - Credit: Archant

Royston Town have missed out on promotion from the Southern League Premier Division Central after the FA voided step three to six of the non-league pyramid due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision comes after talks to terminate the 2019/20 season took place earlier this week, and the FA have now confirmed all results will be expunged and promotion and relagation will not take place.

“The FA and NLS 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 NLS steps three to six, and no promotion to NLS step two,” read the FA’s statement.

“These decisions will also apply to the leagues and clubs who play at NLS step seven.

“We will continue to assist and support the National League (NLS 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 NLS will also now be deferred until the start of the 2021/22 season.”

The Crows will be devastated by the decision, with the club sitting third in the Premier Division Central table as they battled for promotion. It had been hoped that promotion and relegation would be decided by points per game, with Royston 2.10 ppg meaning they would have gone up alongside Tamworth.

Crows assistant manager Chris Watters expressed his disappointment at the decision on Twitter, writing: “How to send out a national statement that football below step two doesn’t matter.

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“Well done for rewarding teams who’d done badly.”

In a statement, the Southern League said: “On the basis that the season is ended now, consideration was given as to whether a mechanism should be used to calculate final league tables and preserve promotion and relegation between Steps 3 to 6.

“Whilst inevitably some clubs will favour this option and the merits of this option have been fully considered by The FA and the leagues, it has been decided that this is not the best option to serve the particular needs of Steps 3 to 6 of the NLS.”