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Club Statement: Letter To The FA

Today, Monday 30 March, we have joined 64 clubs in writing to the Football Association following their decision to expunge all results for the 2019/20 season.

Lancing Football Club can confirm that we are 1 of the 64 football clubs from Step 3-7, representing both men’s & women’s football, who have signed & sent a letter to the FA following last week’s decision to terminate the 2019/20 season with all results expunged.

You can view the final letter here.

All of the 64 clubs involved, including Lancing Football Club, propose that the FA re-think their decision to expunge all results, and instead plan to play the 2019/20 season to a finish, whenever this may be possible, beginning at a later date once safe to do so, according to Government advice during the COVID-19 pandemic of which we are currently experiencing, or use Points Per Game (PPG) to determine final positions if the season is to be ended.

Along with all clubs who have signed the letter, we suggest that the FA should reconsider their actions, slow down the process & wait to see how the pandemic continues, and consider an alternative measure such as using Points by Game (PPG) or completing the season when safe to do so.

1. It would be a fair way of concluding the season.

2. Any implications and impact could be pushed into next season, where any treatment can be applied equally to everyone on a level playing field.

3. To be treated equally with all clubs throughout the football pyramid, including the professional and National league competition.

Fellow Sussex clubs, Worthing and Hastings United, have also signed the letter. Following discussions over the last few days, the Lancing FC senior committee agreed that it is in our best interests to also sign the letter & express our views, collectively with fellow clubs, to the FA.

 

The Letter begins:

“We are writing to express our profound concern and displeasure regarding the decision to null and void entirely the 2019/20 playing season from steps three to six of the non-league, as well as tiers three to seven of the women’s non-league. Our concern is grounded primarily in the needless and inexplicable haste exercised in reaching the decision, coupled with a total lack of substantive dialogue or consultation with affected clubs. The decision also disregards the millions of pounds invested and countless hours expended collectively by clubs, and so has critical financial implications. In writing this joint letter, we recognise that the decision to expunge results for the 2019/20 season still pends official ratification from the FA Council. However, we believe it is unacceptable that such a decision has been handed down to us in this manner. We urgently seek constructive dialogue with the FA with the aim to have the decision re-considered.”

It continues:

“Most clubs in steps three to six have now completed 70-80% of their league fixtures, and it is incomprehensible that these results should be delegitimised and expunged on the basis that the final quarter of the season cannot be fulfilled in the future. Simply put, there is no valid basis to expunge an entire season, especially at this stage.”

“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.”

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