BURY AFC want the football season to be played to a conclusion rather than be declared ‘null and void’ following the latest suspension due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

While some leagues in ‘non-elite’ football from Steps 3-6 are recommending that the 2020/21 season should be abandoned, every club has been contacted to express their opinion.

And AFC, in their inaugural season in the North West Counties Football League, would like to see the season restart when safe to do so but would like to see fans allowed back in and bars able to open.

The phoenix club, currently top of Division One North, suggest that if only 66 per cent of fixtures can be completed, promotion and relegation would be decided on points-per-game (PPG) – a solution that would not include play-offs.

And in another move to avoid a second successive season being declared ‘null and void’, Bury AFC suggest the PPG method should also be used to decide league placings should 50 per cent of games be completed.

A statement from the club said: “Naturally, with a keenness for the season to continue, the AFC board turned to seeking options on how to conclude the season which included playing games whilst providing fairness to all.

“As well as consulting manager Andy Welsh, we have had dialogue with other non-league clubs who, despite recognising that a universal approach would be difficult to agree on, were keen to find a resolution that involved games being played in some form.

“Many clubs were involved in the 2019/20 season, which was ended due to the onset of Covid-19 from March 2020, and wanted to avoid a repeat if possible.”

It added: “The key question related to the conclusion of the season from the point of fixtures resuming once lockdown restrictions had lifted to allow both of the following scenarios to be present:

  • The admission of spectators is allowed at up to 30% of the minimum grading levels for the league being participated in (300 for Bury AFC in Step 6).
  • Clubs able to have access to secondary income streams on matchday i.e. bar income.

It statement went on: “We have submitted these responses to the FA and await to hear back in due course.

“The above process is subject to the results of all clubs across Steps 3-6 and despite our recommendations for football to continue in any way possible, we have to accept that the recommendation may return from the FA for the season to end prematurely.

“To that end, the board have already started discussing the possibility of playing games, creating some healthy competition where possible.

“We are keen to avoid the period between now and a new season with no football.”