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Reaction of Spalding United manager Lewis Thorogood as the Football Association declare his side's season over

Tulips caretaker manager Lewis Thorogood felt it was the right time to end his side's season - despite not agreeing with the Football Association's call to expunge all of their results.

Spalding had finished the BetVictor Northern Premier League South East Division campaign in 16th place.

But the Northern Premier League revealed on Thursday afternoon that their 2019-20 season will now be brought to an end and all results will be expunged.

Lewis Thorogood
Lewis Thorogood

Thorogood said: "I said a couple of weeks ago that we should be given a chance to finish the season but, after what has happened everywhere recently with the coronavirus pandemic, it is now the right thing to finish the season because realistically we don't know when we will be in a position to carry on.

"What I don't agree really with though is what the Football Association have done expunging all the results.

"I really feel for the likes of Stamford, Peterborough Sports and Holbeach United in our area because they're not going to get their chance of promotion.

"It hasn't affected us in any way shape or form but I feel for the likes of Graham Drury at Stamford who has put a lot of work into getting where they are.

"This probably now gives us all time to take stock and hopefully we can get back to all enjoying our football again at some point."

"We will now start planning for next season, but it's difficult to really do that at the moment when every non-league club hasn't got any revenue coming in.

"It's difficult to sit down and start talking about budgets when we don't know what is ahead of us elsewhere."

A statement from the Northern Premier League on their decision to end the campaign said: "We have been working collaboratively with the National League System (NLS), the women’s football pyramid and the wider grassroots game since the outbreak of COVID-19 on how to conclude the 2019-20 season in the most appropriate way possible.

"These are challenging circumstances for English football and all decisions taken are in the best interests of the game and in consultation across key stakeholders.

"Our primary concern will always be for the safety and welfare of clubs, players, staff, officials, volunteers and supporters during this unprecedented time.

"These steps take into account the financial impact during this uncertain period, while considering the fairest method on how the sporting outcomes for the season will be decided with the integrity of the leagues in mind.

"The National League System (NLS) and the women’s football pyramid were able to build a consensus among their leagues and, where possible, aimed to create a consistent approach across all leagues, while taking into account the unique characteristics of each individual league.

"As a result, 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.

"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.

"Furthermore, we can now confirm that we have decided that all grassroots football is concluded for the 2019-20 season.

"This will allow the game to move forward and to commence planning for next season. Our County Football Associations (CFAs) will be supporting grassroots leagues over the coming days to determine how they should close out their current competitions.

"Where appropriate, the above decisions will be put to The FA Council for ratification.

"Throughout this period we continue to seek guidance in respect of the government’s financial support packages relative to COVID-19 and how they are applicable to clubs in the NLS, the women’s football pyramid and the wider grassroots game."

This decision also applies to teams across the area in the United Counties and Peterborough and leagues.

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