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Former AFC Sudbury boss Mark Morsley believes non-league clubs should call for season to be scrapped amid uncertainty of coronavirus pandemic




Mark Morsley, who stepped down as manager of AFC Sudbury last week to help with the club's financial crisis, believes the 2019/20 season for all but the top two tiers of non-league should be scrapped now.

The former Needham Market manager and chairman and Leiston boss believes clubs should apply pressure to their leagues for the season to be declared 'null and void' in light of the likely long road ahead with tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

He believes the best way forward for non-league clubs – with his AFC Sudbury side having been left in mid-table in the BetVictor Isthmian League North Division – is to forget about promotion and relegation this season and start focusing efforts on getting the 2020/21 season started, when it is possible to do so.

AFC Sudbury 2019/20 Season.Manager Mark Morsley Pic - Richard Marsham. (32216187)
AFC Sudbury 2019/20 Season.Manager Mark Morsley Pic - Richard Marsham. (32216187)

He has also suggested that some cup competitions should even look at being dropped for a year to help fit it into the calendar.

"I can get the Premier League, which is top of the pile, and maybe the Championship, cannot take the decision to scrap it and that they have to look at things like playing behind closed doors with live streaming to get to a conclusion," he said.

"But non-league football clubs should come out and say the season is null and void.

"This is one of those life-changing situations in the country where the season is finished and there is no football.

Sean Marks signing a deal to play for AFC Sudbury alongside manager Mark Morsley (32216231)
Sean Marks signing a deal to play for AFC Sudbury alongside manager Mark Morsley (32216231)

"There should no promotion or relegation when we start the new season.

"I think non-league from Step 3 down should be saying that it is not happening. Come back in the autumn or whenever it may be and get the new season started then.

"There would be less time for it but we could look at playing more midweek games, which had been taken out, so that is not the end of the world.

"We could even look at changing the format so for one year the league cup or even the Suffolk Premier Cup or Suffolk Senior Cup was not played to help."

Sudbury, Suffolk. AFC Sudbury's new manager Mark Morsley's first game in charge...Picture: MARK BULLIMORE PHOTOGRAPHY. (32216151)
Sudbury, Suffolk. AFC Sudbury's new manager Mark Morsley's first game in charge...Picture: MARK BULLIMORE PHOTOGRAPHY. (32216151)

But ahead of the non-league 'alliance committee' – made up of the heads of leagues at steps 1-4 –understood to be holding their next meeting at 6pm this evening, he wants the buying of time to form a plan to stop.

"The important think is to make it clear to clubs and make a decision," he said.

"All we seem to have had in the last few weeks is large amounts of indecision and that is not fair for the clubs involved.

"At Sudbury we decided to take the bull by the horns and not wait.

"I just want to see some clarity."


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