Non-league season write-off: I feel for teams who have worked hard to be top - and for sponsors and chairmen who have got them there

Burgess Hill Town boss Jay Lovett says he has sympathies for the football decsion-makers who have chosen to write off the season for hundreds of non-league clubs.

Burgess Hill manager Jay Lovett / Picture: Chris Neal
Burgess Hill manager Jay Lovett / Picture: Chris Neal

The Hillians chief says there was no outcome that would have satisfied everyone - and all he can do now is use the spare time he has on his hands to start planning for next season, when his club will again be in the Isthmian south-east division.

Hill were 15th in the table when things came to a halt, so to them, the decision to scrap results has no effect - they were not going up or down anyway.

Other Sussex clubs have been hut, though - with Worthing, Hastings, Lancing and Littlehampton - all league leaders from steps three to six - all having expressed disappointment that the promotion they were seemingly heading for has been snatched away.

The FA Council has yet to ratify the move and affected non-league clubs across the country are lobbying for a change of heart.

Lovett has given a considered response to this week's developments, telling the Mid Sussex Times: "It's a really hard call, either way from the decision that has been made, teams would have a case to put forward.

"Teams at the top have invested good money into the squads over the season and invested lots of training ground prep for a late push, teams near the bottom have had management changes and started to pick up valuable points.

"As I've said before, history tells us sometimes bottom teams fighting for their life, pick up points against good sides in the fight to avoid the drop and finish the season with a good run. Some teams at the bottom don't and end up being where they deserve to be.

"Same at the top, some teams have been on a long unbeaten run and making up good points, some teams have consistently been at the top of the league for a reason as they are the best team..

"A big argument is that 80% of the league has been played, so should it stand? Ultimately the league table never lies, but nobody can predict what may happen. Some teams choke and some thrive!

"From a neutral position, I think if the league decided points per game, we wouldn't have seen that as unfair, but many other teams would. Also being neutral the null and void dosen't seem to bad either, but many teams would.. if I was at the top, I'd probably have a whole different outlook.

"I feel for sponsors and chairman that have kept clubs afloat through the few months of rain that called so many games off and now this. I feel for clubs that have contracted players that need paying.

"Clubs will be losing income not only through not playing, but not being able to hire their facilities out. It's a very strange time, nobody has experience to pull from to resolve the situation from previous experiences.

"I know safety comes first for all, so I'm guessing this is the thought process of the leagues that have cancelled the season. For me as a manager, I now have plenty of time to think and plan for next season and I'm very much looking forward to it."

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