Worthing FC would like to express concerns over the 2020/21 Isthmian League Season being rendered null and void.
The club believes that a null and void decision would represent an unfair outcome when better options exist, and would negatively impact the competitive integrity of non-league football.
The 2019/20 season was terminated after we had played 34 games, 81 per cent of the total league season. Since that decision was made, the National League and EFL have set a precedent by deciding their league tables using PPG, and it has been widely accepted that 75% of a league season is enough to warrant using PPG.
Our senior Men’s side has been top of the league at the pause of both seasons, and has played 42 games over the course of the two, scoring an average of 2.19 points per game. This is the best record of any side in Step 3.
In a survey put to clubs, we have strongly expressed our support for “Project Non-League”, which would allow promotion for clubs who have earned it over the last two seasons.
This solution is in line with the planned restructuring of non-league football which was already intended to go ahead, and would reward those teams who have performed at the highest level while also sparing any teams at the bottom of the table from relegation.
Failing this, the club believes it is more sensible to retain the current results from the 2020/21 season and use them as a basis for next season, rather than starting from scratch.
While they are part of the London and South East Regional League and subject to a different decision, it is also more than worth mentioning our senior Women’s side, who had mathematically secured promotion in 2019/20 before their season was rendered null and void.
Chairman Barry Hunter said: “If we don’t play any more football this season we will have played 42 league games since August 2019 – one full season. We’ve won 28, drawn eight and lost six, taking 2.19 points per game.”
“We’ve finished both seasons top of the league and have the best record of any team at step three.”
“We are within a hair’s breadth of National League football and believe we’ve earned the right to achieve promotion.”
Hunter questioned whether the leagues and FA Council had ‘compromised themselves’ in writing off last season so quickly.
Hunter said there were so many people connected with the club who were frustrated by the prospect of another season’s work being lost.
“We have built up goodwill from those who are on our journey with us – players, growing numbers of fans, sponsors – they all want us to get into elite football. It would be challenging and harsh if we were held back again.”