09:00AM, Sunday 26 April 2020
The National League board has said it will given 'careful consideration' to the sporting outcomes of the 2019/20 league seasons, but the permutations of those could lead to Maidenhead United and Slough Town facing off against each other once again in the National League South.
Clubs voted this week to bring the three divisions to an immediate conclusion, with the league now tasked with coming up with a workable solution for determining promotions/relegations so clubs can prepare for next season.
The simplest solution appears to be declaring the league seasons null and void and expunging the results, however, that will likely lead to legal challenges from a host of clubs.
Sorting out promotion/relegation on a points per game (PPG) average has also been suggested, and this is the scenario that could see Maidenhead United demoted back into the National League South.
It really depends on the number of teams the league chooses to relegate and promote, but with Maidenhead sat in the bottom three when the season was brought to a halt, their position looks precarious. Derby matches against the Magpies would be a real money-spinner for Slough Town next season, however, joint boss Jon Underwood doesn’t wish this scenario on the Rebels’ nearest neighbours.
Slough would miss out on their shot at promotion through the play-offs using PPG, with Wealdstone and Havant & Waterlooville the most likely to benefit. They could exchange places with Maidenhead United and Ebbsfleet United, although, until the league declares its intentions, it's all speculation.
“There would probably be no relegation from our league, as the leagues below have been voided,” said Underwood. “That would see a reprieve for Hungerford. It would be nice for them not to go down.
“In terms of promotion, it depends on what’s coming down and there will be a knock on effect from the EFL. It’s clear that if anyone should go up from our league it should be Wealdstone. The difficulty is if you need to promote two sides. I guess you’d go on PPG and that would be Havant.
“If so it’s worked in Havant’s favour and good luck to them. Maybe they’ll just promote one. We’ll abide with whatever decision is taken and are aware that these are very difficult times. We’ll just have to get on with it.”
He added: “Maidenhead are currently third from bottom.
“Yeah, I guess you’d see Maidenhead and Ebbsfleet come down and Wealdstone and Havant go up. I don’t wish that on Maidenhead at all.
“Obviously it would be a great money spinner for us to have two games against Maidenhead next season, but as a local club I wouldn’t wish that on them.”
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