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26 Mar 2020 : Football Association declares 2019-20 Northern Premier League season over

The Football Association has announced that the 2019-20 BetVictor Northern Premier League season is over - along with those of all other leagues at steps three to six of the National League System.

The FA said in a statement this afternoon that they and the leagues concerned have "reached a consensus that their 2019-20 season will now be brought to an end, and all results will be expunged."

The statement added: "This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between NLS steps three to six, and no promotion to NLS step two."

The NPL North West Division, including Runcorn Linnets, is a step 4 competition along with the NPL South East.

Both feed into the NPL Premier Division at step 3.

This in turn promotes teams to the regionalised second tier of the National League (step 2).

The news means that a major reorganisation in non-league football, including the NPL taking on a third step 4 division for the start of next season, will be shelved until the end of 2020-21 and not now take effect until August 2021.

The NPL season had already been "suspended indefinitely" from March 16th due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tiers three to seven of the women's game have reached a similar decision in tandem with the FA.

The season will end immediately with results being expunged and promotion and relegation in 2019-20 being scrapped.

Unfortunately, this directly affects Runcorn Linnets Ladies, who are comfortably leading the seventh-tier Cheshire Women's League Prenier Division.

It's a bitter blow for manager John Pickering, coaching staff and players, who have put so much time and effort into what had been a highly successful season but will not now have chance to go up.

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9:19 9/8/2020

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