PROMOTION-CHASING non-league clubs across the Bradford District have had their last hopes extinguished, after the FA Council confirmed yesterday that it had ratified the decision to null and void the the 2019-20 season from steps three to seven of the National League System.

Liversedge (step five), Campion (step six) and Ilkley Town (step seven) were all in with a great chance of going up from their respective leagues when the season was stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When it was announced two weeks ago that their seasons were over, all three, along with around 150 other clubs and four MPs, expressed their opposition in an open letter to the FA.

But their pleas fell on deaf ears, with the FA Council confirming that their vote was overwhelmingly in favour of ratifying the decision.

Tiers three to seven of the women's football pyramid and the wider grassroots game have also been officially concluded (and declared null and void).

The FA's head of National League System, Laurence Jones, said: "We sympathise with those clubs that are currently occupying promotion spots – or those hopeful of securing promotion. Some believe that it would be better to opt for a Points Per Match [PPM] model to conclude the remainder of the season, as oppose to expunging results.

"The truth is that the consequence of clubs being promoted is that others will need to be relegated.

"Most of the clubs facing relegation will be of the view that they stood a chance of avoiding it due to the number of games remaining in the season.

"The PPM model also doesn’t address how to deal with play-off matches and how to identify a winner, who would then benefit from promotion.

"This has been a robust and thorough process that has seen the FA and leagues across all steps consider each viable option. We always keep the integrity of competitions at the forefront of our minds in making the decision."

Meanwhile, the National League Board have reportedly recommended that clubs vote to end their “regulation season”.

Another vote is set to determine how the leagues (Vanarama National League, National League North and National League South) are settled. No news of the decision is expected until next week.

The outcome will obviously affect Bradford (Park Avenue), who currently sit bottom of the National League North, and are waiting to find out whether they will be relegated or not.