Explained: National League issue complex statement as Hartlepool United, Notts County, Chesterfield and all 66 member clubs asked to vote to resolve season – here are the options with null and void a possibility

National League clubs have been asked to vote on their resolutions to the 2020-21 National League season.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 2:24 pm

With no grant funding currently in place for the remainder of the season, the National League has set up a petition in an attempt to get the DCMS to reverse its decision to issue loans.

In the meantime, clubs have been handed voting documents to consider the outcome of the 2020-21 campaign.

There are several possibilities that could come from the vote, including a null and void scenario for all three divisions.

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Victoria Park, Hartlepool (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

For legal reasons, clubs will have 28 days to respond to the vote – during that time, Hartlepool United and other clubs are set to play as many as eight matches.

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On Monday evening, the National League issued a complicated statement detailing the resolutions.

It read: “The National League has distributed resolutions this evening for Member Clubs to consider the outcome of the 2020/21 season.

The National League season could end at the end of the month (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

“The resolutions are formed of four parts: one Special Resolution and three Ordinary Resolutions based on the outcome of the first.

"A Special Resolution requires a 75% majority to be passed, whereas an Ordinary Resolution requires a more than 50% majority. Resolution 1 and 4 votes will be counted under prescribed voting conditions. Resolution 2 and 3 will be counted with one vote per Member Club.

“Should Resolution 1 pass, Resolution 2 and 3 will be counted, with Resolution 4 disregarded. Should Resolution 1 be voted against, Resolution 4 will be counted, with Resolution 2 and 3 votes disregarded.

“Under The National League’s Articles of Association, Member Clubs have 28 days to return voting submissions.

The National League have released a statement with clubs receiving their voting documents.

“The resolutions are as follows:

“Resolution 1 (All Clubs)

“That Resolution 2 about whether to end the 2020/21 Playing Season of The National League (Step 1) be taken only by Clubs in the National League and that Resolution 3 about whether to end the 2020/21 Playing Season of the National League North and the National League South (Step 2) be taken only by Clubs that play in the National League North or the National League South with votes cast for Resolution 3 being counted on a one member, one vote basis for National League North and National League South Clubs.

“Resolution 2 (National League Only)

“That, conditional upon Resolution 1 being passed, the 2020/21 Playing Season of the National League (Step 1) shall immediately end on the date this Resolution 2 is passed and be declared null and void and subject to the approval of The Football Association, those Regulations that provide for promotion and relegation to and from Step 1 be suspended for the 2020/21 Playing Season.

“Resolution 3 (National League North and South Only)

“That, conditional upon Resolution 1 being passed, the 2020/21 Playing Season of the National League North and the National League South (Step 2) shall immediately end on the date this Resolution 3 is passed and be declared null and void and subject to the approval of The Football Association those Regulations that provide for promotion and relegation to and from Step 2 be suspended for the 2020/21 Playing Season.

“Resolution 4 (All Clubs)

“That conditional upon Resolution 1 not being passed, the 2020/21 Playing Seasons of The National League (Step 1) and The National League North and The National League South (Step 2) shall immediately end on the date this Resolution 4 is passed and be declared null and void and subject to the approval of The Football Association, those Regulations that provide for promotion to and relegation from Step 1 and Step 2 be suspended for the 2020/21 Playing Season.”

Complicated right?

In slightly simpler terms, resolution one will see National League and National League North and South clubs vote on whether they want their vote to count towards their individual step (step one or two) or across the three National League divisions as a whole (step one and two).

Each National League club gets a vote while the National League North and South get four votes each. This resolution requires a 75% majority in order to pass.

If it does pass, resolutions two and three come into effect. Resolution two only applies to National League clubs and whether they want their season to end and be declared null and void at the end of February.

Resolution three is the same for National League’s North and South. Both resolutions two and three require a 50% majority vote in order to pass.

In the instance resolution one fails to get a 75% majority, meaning clubs across all three divisions will vote as a collective rather than as individual steps – resolution four will come into play instead of resolutions two and three.

This resolution is a vote to end all three National League divisions simultaneously, this requires a 50% majority in order to pass. However, like resolution one, this vote will be weighted towards step one clubs in the National League.

There are six different possibilities that could occur based on the outcome of the vote:

Resolution one, two and three pass: All three National League divisions declared null and void.

Resolution one passes, two fails and three passes: National League season will continue, North and South declared null and void.

Resolution one and two pass and three fails: National League season declared null and void, North and South continue without fans, promotion or relegation.

Resolution one passes, two and three fail: All three National League seasons continue.

Resolution one fails and four passes: All three National League divisions declared null and void.

Resolution one fails and four fails: All three National League seasons continue.

These outcomes will be subject to approval by the Football Association.

Fixtures across the National League divisions are set to continue for the time being as Hartlepool prepare for a trip to Dover Athletic this Saturday (3pm kick-off).

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