Fan column: There are no words suitable for a family newspaper that can adequately convey my disgust and contempt for the Football Association

I suppose we should not have been surprised by the news that the decision by the Football Association to declare season 2019-20 null and void for all clubs from Step Three downwards has been ratified.

Crawley fan and Observer columnist Geoff Thornton is deeply disappointed - but not surprised - by the FA confirming it is writing off the season for clubs at non-league step three and below
Crawley fan and Observer columnist Geoff Thornton is deeply disappointed - but not surprised - by the FA confirming it is writing off the season for clubs at non-league step three and below

Needless to say it has been ratified by the FA themselves rather than by anybody else with an involvement in football who might have taken a more reasoned view of the situation.

There is little mileage in going over the whys and wherefores of the resolution as most independent football fans are simply aghast at the waste of energy and effort, resource and finance contributed by each and every one of the FA’s member clubs. One might have thought that the FA would work on behalf of their own members but who can guess what agenda the ‘blazers’ were following?

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As I mentioned last week, many clubs got together in their protest and approach to the FA with regard to getting reconsideration. The breadth of their representation was another factor that counted for nothing. Neither, I imagine, was the cogency of their plea.

If that was in anyway reflected by the tone of the letter subsequently sent by Redcar Athletic secretary Kevin Fryett which detailed the costs, direct and indirect, of his club’s theoretically successful season then it must have been an appeal that was very hard to resist.

I wish I had Kevin’s command of words. You may wish to understand the extent of this debacle by checking the April 10 edition of Grass Routes which can be found at mikeamosblog.wordpress.comIn fact I can recommend this website to all genuine supporters of football right down to the grass-roots of the game to which it alludes. Despite the distance to the grounds of the north-east and the current absence of any football it is always a pleasure and often a revelation to read.

The damaging effects of the decision strike home locally with Crawley Wasps’ possible promotion falling by the wayside. Theirs could have been a situation to have tested the other suggestions about bringing the season to a satisfactory conclusion as Wasps’ playing record and that of second-placed Watford were very similar. I can’t see the virtue of avoiding the risk of upsetting one of those clubs by choosing to aggrieve both of them.

It is not just promotion and relegation issues that have been cast aside. The null and void decision means that appearance and goalscoring records should not be updated at the end of the campaign. Unsurprisingly fines for on-field discretions that never happened in matches that never took place are not going to be refunded.

There are no words suitable for a family newspaper that can adequately convey my disgust and contempt for the Football Association in these troubled times. They might have made some things slightly better but instead adopted a course that shows “you lose some and then you lose some more”.

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