The English FA have taken an approach preferred by many Rangers fans, by declaring the standings in five non-league divisions null and void.
In a statement released on Thursday, the governing body announced that National League System tiers three through to seven had all be brought to a conclusion.
We’ve issued a statement on how the 2019-20 season will be concluded in light of the COVID-19 pandemic: https://t.co/5DWXAmE1kW
— The FA (@FA) March 26, 2020
The null and void verdicts mean there are no champions in any of these divisions.
“The NLS and the women’s football pyramid were able to build a consensus amongst their leagues and, where possible, aimed to create a consistent approach across all leagues, whilst taking into account the unique characteristics of each individual league,” read the FA’s statement.
“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.”
It’s elsewhere stated that discussions are ongoing about also bringing the top two National League tiers to a conclusion. A null and void verdict for step one would see no promotion to the EFL.
The FA also asserted that the grassroots season has now officially ‘concluded.’
Rather than looking to extend these leagues into the summer and beyond in order to determine all the relative winners and losers, a perhaps surprisingly early decision has been taken to scrap multiple leagues simultaneously.
Officially, Rangers have claimed that they want to see the current Scottish Premiership campaign through to its conclusion [Rangers.co.uk].
However, the FA’s move here is the one which would suit the club most and is favoured by many Gers fans.
The argument is, that rather than causing untold upheaval by restructuring seasons and postponing major tournaments, the SPFL and SFA should simply declare the four leagues in Scotland null and void, before regrouping and approaching next season as usual.
It’s no coincidence that that verdict would ensure Celtic miss out on a ninth consecutive league title.
By the same token, that’s one of the reasons why there’ll be such resistance to any such verdict in Scotland.
While in England’s National League System there was a kind of consensus formed by clubs, amicable agreements seem unlikely to be reached north of the border.