Integrity of county league football is shot to bits - one manager's view on the non-league season write-off

The assistant manager of one of the Sussex teams set to miss promotion following the FA decision to write off the season for most non-league clubs has reacted with anger to his side's hard work being wasted.

Littlehampton celebrate a goal at Wick earlier in the campaign / Picture: Tommy McMillan
Littlehampton celebrate a goal at Wick earlier in the campaign / Picture: Tommy McMillan

Mitch Hand is No2 at Littlehampton Town, who were set for promotion from the SCFL division one to the premier division after a fine campaign.

But the move to axe all results chalked up this season for steps three downward in the non-league game means those clubs leading leagues and in promotion positions will have to start all over again net season.

Clubs affected across the country have vowed to fight the decision and there is a glimmer of hope - the FA Council have to ratify the decision at a meeting in the coming week.

But for now it stands - and Hand is far from happy.

He told us: "These are my own personal thoughts and not those of the club. But the decision completely baffles me and the integrity of county league football is shot to bits after the decision.

"They’ve completely undermined the effort of players, coaches, club officials, volunteers, from the people on the gate to the boys on the pitch. I’m talking in general here, not just Littlehampton but everyone across the board, every single bit of hard work put into the season the league say that never happened.

"We’ve had plenty of commiserations from a lot of good people in the last few days and to that I’d like to say thank you. But the biggest thank you goes to the boys, the incredible bunch we had and the achievement was there for all to see and we all felt we were well on the way to doing something very unique.

"That being said regardless how hard done by we feel, how thoughtless and unjust the final decision was, we will take it on the chin and move forward.

"The response from the players is what makes them a special group, the same squad will be staying together and looking to finish what we started."

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