A NON-league football team based in Crosby who had high hopes of promotion this season admit they are “bitterly disappointed” after the season was scrapped.
AFC Liverpool, who play their home matches at the Marine Travel Arena, were in second place in the First Division North of the NWCFL with 29 matches played of the campaign.
Yesterday it was announced by the Football Association (FA) that the 2019/2020 football season for Northern Premier and North West Counties Leagues would be declared null and void, with all results expunged.
There will be no promotion or relegation for any clubs at this level, which is a blow not just for AFC Liverpool but other local clubs who had promotion hopes including Marine and Bootle.
Marine were third in the Betvictor Northern Premier North West division while Bootle were third in the North West Counties Premier Division.
Chairman of the AFC Liverpool, Chris Stirrup, said: “We are beyond disappointed that it has come to this because we believe that while the season was rightly halted, the decision to declare the season 'null and void' is the wrong one and creates more questions than it does give answers.
“Just because something is easy, does not make it right. Being just over three quarters of the way through a season, we feel that the positions should stand. Clubs should be promoted and relegated accordingly.
“Whether that is by keeping teams in their current positions or by the points per game ratio, could be discussed at a later date.
“The decision from the FA makes no sense at all, and we feel that all the hardwork done, not just by us, but by clubs across the country, be it being top of the league, or doing the much needed work on ground grading in order to gain promotion, all that work is now for nothing.
“Naturally, it is easy to say that we only feel this way because we were in a promotion position but there are much wider implications in this decision.
“We can’t help but feel that the decision was rushed and made for the few, not the many.
“With the massive disappointment hanging over us and even though the record books will show that the 2019-20 season never happened, it did bring us some wonderful memories and moments that can’t be declared ‘null and void'.
“The club, as always, wish to praise our fans who have been unbelievable all season, following the team whether it be a Saturday at Cleator Moor or a Monday night at Daisy Hill.
“The current situation is unprecedented and right now, ultimately, football isn’t important. Overcoming this horrible virus is now the goal of everyone and we can all do our bit to help our NHS heroes by following Government advice.”