AN emergency meeting was held on Zoom yesterday evening among the majority of member clubs from the National League North due to uncertainty surrounding the start of the season.

The end result was that 81 per cent of clubs in division, including Bradford (Park Avenue) and Guiseley, would not accept starting the season without crowds, unless there was a financial support package in place to help out.

The National League are due to have a board meeting this afternoon, where it is expected they will announce whether the season will go ahead as planned or not from October 5.

Another glaring issue is that teams from the division are due to play in the FA Cup from October 3, which would mean costly player contracts would be activated by those games, even if the National League season's start was delayed.

A joint letter, addressed to the National League's chief executive, Michael Tattersall, read:

During the meeting a set of anonymous polls were conducted with the most important question being asked of clubs;

Given the simple option, no caveats attached, of starting the season or not without crowds, what would your answer be?

The majority verdict of 81% from clubs in the National League North would be to NOT start the season, unless there was a financial support package in place for member clubs.

The meeting considered the impact of the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round on the contractual status of players, many of whom have contracts that begin on the ‘commencement of the football season’.

We are sure you are aware that clubs wrote these contracts based on information provided by the FA via the National League.

The issue is, that should there be a delay to the National League North season, then these contracts would be activated by the FA Cup fixture.

This would leave clubs exposed to having to pay these players for the rest of the season with obvious financial implications.

Elite status was debated at length, because, as you are aware National League North and South clubs were granted elite status in July 2020.

Therefore, the question was asked why do clubs from Step 1 receive one vote per club and Step 2 only receives four votes per league?

We believe the decision regarding when to start the National League should be democratic across all members due to the financial implications of any decision on member clubs.

This is never more apparent following the government’s decision on Tuesday and we request that we should be treated equally and have one vote per club across the whole National League system.

These are views shared by the majority of clubs in the National League North and we ask that they are represented at the National League Board meeting taking place today.