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02nd Apr 2020

Null and void: South Shields FC lead appeal against FA decision

Reuben Pinder

Can you wipe a season off the record?

What happens to a player’s career goal record if a season is declared null and void? What do you do about fines handed out for yellow and red cards? These are minor details but just two of several questions to be asked in response to the FA’s decision to declare all leagues below the National League null and void.

The coronavirus has severely affected every sector of society. And yes, some things are more important than others. As the legendary Arrigo Sacchi put it: Football is the most important of the least important things in life. But it’s still ok to care about it. It doesn’t make you a bad person to worry about the fortunes of your club, especially if you’ve overseen a club’s rise to the top of the table and all but secured promotion, only to have it taken away.

That’s what has happened to South Shields FC, who were top of the Northern Premier League, with their eyes set on a return to the EFL in the next few years.

Their chairman, Geoff Thompson, has led the appeal against this decision, and is prepared to take legal action, should it be necessary.

He spoke to JOE about what he sees as a great injustice and a display of inconsistency from football’s governing body.