Andoversford secretary Phil Hendy is adamant that the Northern Senior League “made a very quick decision” in deciding to void with no relegation or promotion.
The Gloucestershire Northern Senior League is one of many divisions throughout the county to have been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The league decided to void the season at the end of March, resulting in no promotion or relegation for any teams.
One club which this had a major impact on was Andoversford, who were 11 points clear in division two of the Northern Senior League when the action was stopped.
Many leagues throughout the country are making different decisions on how best to finalise the seasons, with many fans disappointed with how leagues are being finalised.
Phil Hendy, Andoversford’s secretary has spoken exclusively to Park Life Sport on how the club have reacted to the decision.
“In terms of the decision about no promotion and relegation, we weren’t very happy because we are up at the top and are ahead of Points per game and we felt the Northern Senior made a very quick decision.”
“Rather than waiting like the other local leagues, the Stroud and the Cheltenham league, they decided their bit straight away and I emailed the league secretary straight away to say that I thought they made a rash decision and could have consulted clubs as that was under the leagues guidelines
“They haven’t retracted anything, I was going to appeal it but it is a bit of a hard one because it isn’t just affecting our league, it has impacted higher league levels as well but it seems unfair that teams who haven’t picked up a single point in Northern Senior One are going to stay in the division.”
Andoversford were 11 points clear prior the season being voided although Kings Stanley and Lydney Town Reserves both did have games in hand and could have got much closer to the top.
There is one complication which could in turn help Hendy’s side earn promotion as Tufley Rovers have pulled out the league, Hendy explains.
“Tuffley Rovers have decided to drop out of the league, they’re currently in Northern Senior one, moving across to Hellenic two so that does leave a vacancy within the Northern Senior league which at the moment has been provisionally offered to Dursley Town and the teams in the league were asked to vote on it, they will come into division two, which will mean one team will go up from division two to division one, we assume it would be us but the league aren’t being as quite as ready with that as Kings Stanley have a case as well as to why they should go up.
The return date to playing and training still remains unclear for a number of clubs throughout the football pyramid and that is the same for the Gloucestershire club who play at Winchcombe school but they have got some plans in place to try and be ready for a potential start date of the new season.
“The lads are already doing training and being denied promotion has given them that extra motivation, albeit it won’t be guaranteed next year, assuming how they restructure all the leagues.
“There’s not a lot they can do in lockdown, they’re all doing little running challenges, trying to keep themselves fit and active and ready.
“We have booked some pre-season friendlies for July, with the assumption that our season will start in August although we are looking at booking some August friendlies in as nobody really knows when it will restart, if they restart at all.
“We have to prepare on the assumption that the league season will start as normal and if it gets extended then we put more friendlies in, get training going when we can.