Top clubs anger as Peterborough League recommend a null and void end to the 2020-21 season

A Peterborough & District Football League recommendation that the 2020-21 campaign be declared null and void and be replaced by a cup competition has been greeted with disappointment by some Premier League clubs.

By Alan Swann
Friday, 5th March 2021, 2:19 pm
Action from Stilton United (red) v Peterborough North End Sports
Action from Stilton United (red) v Peterborough North End Sports

After twice surveying member clubs on how they want the season to finish, the league committee has now declared its own preference.

A vote on whether clubs preferred a null and void outcome or playing the league out to a conclusion went 55-45% in favour of the former.

A second vote on whether to complete the league season or play in a cup also went 55-45% in favour of the former.

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Clubs have now been asked to vote by the weekend on whether or not to accept the league’s recommendation of a cup competition only, although it’s unclear what would happen if the clubs vote against it.

Stilton United currently top the Premier Division and voted on the last occasion to keep playing.

First-team manager Chris Bartlett said: “We want to complete the league season. It seems the bestand fairest of the alternatives.

“This is not us thinking we will win the league as Moulton Harrox have won every game they have played, but playing each other once is the best senario in this instance.

“I’m surprised anyone would vote to stop playing. It would be a shame for those clubs who are in good shape to win promotions.

“If the clubs vote to play a cup competition only we would take part. At the end of the day we want to play football.”

Premier Division title rivals Netherton United and Peterborough Noth End Sports are not so keen on playing in a cup.

Netherton manager Jon Harrison described the process as ‘laughable’ in a tweet.

He said: “There was a final vote with a pathway to finishing the league, especially as there is now permission to extend the season. For the league to give clubs the say, but then go ‘whatever’ is a joke.

“I don’t want a part of a cup as we want to complete the league however it is done. It’s not easy, but the handling of this has been laughable.”

North End Sports manager Tom Florence tweeted: “The Leagues should carry on, however long an extension we need in the circumstances. A cup competition would be nice, but not essential. Both would be ideal to appeal to everyone. Even if we have to adopt a points-per-game outcome for the league.

“I do not believe a cup on its own will be taken seriously by players.”

Jimmy Brattan, the manager of mid-table ICA Sports, took a very unselfish view, but also criticised the handling of a difficult situation by the League committee.

Brattan said: “I feel for the clubs in a promotion position or league winning position if the season is null and void and I understand their frustration.

“We sit in the middle of the pack, but if the League decides to finish its season we will happily play and if the league decide it’s to be a cup competition we will happily play in that. We just want to get back to playing football.

“I have said it before, but the League should have just made a decision and not given clubs the chance to vote.”