'National League season may not start until autumn' - club chairman

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The new National League season may not start until much later in the year, says one club chairman.

National League clubs voted to bring the campaign to an early finish last month due to the pandemic although the final league standings have yet to be confirmed.

The play-offs may still go ahead but the fifth tier is waiting to see if there will be relegations from League Two before deciding how to proceed.

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It is looking increasingly unlikely that the 2020/2021 season will not start in August and there has even been a suggestion that it could be as late as January before the campaign gets underway.

The National League season came to an early finish last month.The National League season came to an early finish last month.
The National League season came to an early finish last month. | Getty Images

And Dagenham and Redbridge managing director, Steve Thompson, is of a similar view.

“The current costs involved in returning to training are too much to be currently viable in the National League, nor is the prospect of playing games at our level behind closed doors,” he said. “For this reason, it is unlikely that the new season will kick-off on the 8 August as originally scheduled. In fact, it may not be until September or October or even later before we are allowed to resume.”

Earlier this month League Two clubs “unanimously indicated” to the EFL that they wanted to end the season early and said they wished not to relegate anyone to the National League. However, the EFL later rejected that outcome meaning promotions and relegations in all three EFL divisions look likely.