Hartlepool United promotion hopes remain ON with National League to continue but North and South divisions declared null and void

The National League have confirmed that the season is all but over for clubs in their North and South Divisions - but Hartlepool United will play on after clubs in non-league’s top tier voted in favour of playing their own season to completion.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 8:04 pm
Luke Armstrong of Hartlepool United celebrates with Lewis Cass.

That means that North Division quartet Blyth Spartans, Darlington, Gateshead and Spennymoor Town – who all voted in favour of declaring the season null and void – have almost certainly played their final league fixture of the current campaign and will now turn their focus to preparing for the 2021/22 season.

However, Pools’ push for promotion back into the Football League will continue after National League clubs voted against bringing their season to a premature end by a 13 to 7 majority.

Two clubs in the top tier of the non-league game are yet to submit their votes, but the league confirmed that the voting procedure has been ended with the result unaffected.

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The vote across the North and South divisions provided contrasting outcomes with a 12-9 majority in the latter voting to carry on the season - but a 15 to seven vote in favour to null and void from clubs in the North Division means that the step two season is all but over.

A statement released on the National League website on Thursday evening revealed the result of the voting process – although the issue is yet to be finalised as the Football Association will have to ratify the outcome including decisions over promotion and relegation.

A number of clubs across the National League’s three divisions have also threatened legal action over the outcome of the vote.

The wait goes on for clubs below National League North level over the decision taken on the remaining fixtures in their own season.

The Football Association Alliance and FA Leagues Committee released a statement last week revealing that any decision will be impacted by the outcome of the National League vote and the Government’s “roadmap” to reducing Covid-19 restrictions.

A statement released to clubs read: “The Alliance Committee (Steps 3 & 4) and Leagues Committee (Steps 5 & 6) met on 8 and 9 February, respectively, to discuss the data that was collated following the recent surveys circulated to Clubs at this level of the game.

“During discussions, the Committees acknowledged the likelihood that the Prime Minister will set out a ‘roadmap’ to the nation on 22 February as to how Government intend to begin to reduce the current COVID-19 restrictions.

“Given that any such update from the Government on 22 February may provide the Committees with additional, relevant information to help determine the preferred route forward, they have agreed to reconvene after this date.

“In addition, the Alliance Committee are also conscious of the ongoing process the National League (Steps 1 & 2) are undertaking and the potential impact this could have on any actions the Committee may choose to take.

“We will provide an update in due course.”