2020/21 Southern League season declared Null and Void

Further to the recent government announcement on Monday evening, The Pitching In Southern League have declared that steps 3-6 of the National League System (NLS) have been declared Null and Void. 

More than three-quarters of teams in steps three to six of the non-league pyramid voted to end the season if matches could not be played with supporters before  the 1st of April – following on from the government roadmap announcement which was made on Monday. The Southern League have released a statement on behalf of the club’s at steps three to six this evening: 

“Taking into account the survey results and the ongoing impact of Covid-19, which continues to adversely affect incomes for clubs due to restrictions on both spectators and hospitality, The FA’s Alliance and Leagues Committees have reached a consensus that subject to the approval of FA Council, the 2020-21 league season for Steps 3-6 of the NLS should be curtailed with immediate effect, with no further league matches taking place this season.”

The full statement can be accessed HERE.

First-team Manager Lee Lashenko provided Manor Farm with his immediate reaction to the news this evening, and believes that Bristol Manor Farm and the rest of the clubs in the Non-League pyramid should capitalise on the added interest in this level of football.

“In terms of major disappointment, we overcame that in December when it became clear that the season wouldn’t be completed,” Lashenko said.

“What has been made clear, is that when the national lockdown is lifted in June – we will start to see this country really boom. The vaccination process has been excellent so far, and there is lots to be positive about – so there isn’t any reason why the season shouldn’t start up again in August.

“I think the up and coming season will be brilliant for Non-League Football; A lot of clubs will benefit from people having a forced-opportunity to watch this level, based on people not being able to watch the professional game. When we come back for pre-season, and the start of the new season, many clubs will hopefully capitalise on the added interest on this level of Football.

“Bristol Manor Farm is going to be exciting an exciting club to be associated with. We’re looking to be ambitious in more ways than not – particularly with the playing budget as we look to bring the best players to the football club that are available.  We want to make this the most successful year in the club’s history, building on some fantastic years that we’ve had in recent times,” Lashenko expressed.

Preparation ahead of the 2021/22 Southern League Division One South season has already begun, with the club actively looking to bring players to make a big impact at The Creek in August.

“I’ve already been on the phone to players this evening,” Lee said. “We here at Manor Farm have our ‘roadmap’ if you like, and that starts with training starting up again at the end of March to early April.

“We’re looking to put in place a tournament at The Creek from the 17th – 24th April. We want to treat it as a ‘festival of football’ with eight teams battling it out for a trophy – starting with a quarter final right the way through to the final. The clubs competing will have a chance to play three competitive matches in seven days – and that’s something for us all to get excited about.

“With the players looking to return properly in April, we will treat this as the start of our season,” said Lee.

Bristol Manor Farm would like to thank the #FarmyArmy for their continued support of the club during this period, and look forward to welcoming fans back to The Creek for what should be a really exciting chapter in the football club’s history.