English soccer cancels seasons in tiers 7-10; scraps promotion, relegation

The English Football Association ended seasons in tiers 7-10 of the country’s league system Thursday. All results from the 2019-20 campaign are expunged and no teams will be relegated or promoted.

The FA issued the same verdict for play below the top two divisions in the women’s game.

“These are challenging circumstances for English football and all decisions taken are in the best interests of the game and in consultation across key stakeholders,” the FA’s release read. “Our primary concern will always be for the safety and welfare of clubs, players, staff, officials, volunteers, and supporters during this unprecedented time.”

The measure triggered by the coronavirus pandemic could soon include the National League and National League North and South after BBC Sport reported Wednesday that board members overseeing those tiers have asked the FA to close their seasons.

State of play in men’s football pyramid:

2019-20 season Status
Premier League Unclear
Championship Unclear
League One Unclear
League Two Unclear
National League Pending
National League North and South Pending
Steps 7-10 Expunged

Leagues higher up the women’s and men’s football pyramid could be next in line, with the FA stating it remains “in consultation with the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship Board and clubs regarding the most appropriate way to complete the current season.”

The FA appears determined to conclude its other competitions, such as the women’s and men’s FA Cups, saying it is “reviewing all options as we seek to complete these competitions whenever it is safe and appropriate to do so.”

One of the biggest losers in the FA’s decision to cancel leagues could be Barrow. The National League side is four points clear in first place and therefore nearing a return to the English Football League – the country’s traditional professional ladder currently rising from League Two to the Championship – for the first time since 1972.

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