NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: No need to rush the decision on 2019/20 season, says Ely City chief

Ely City in action against Godmanchester Rovers in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division this sea

Ely City in action against Godmanchester Rovers in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division this season. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONT - Credit: Archant

Ely City joint boss Luke McAvoy feels a decision on the 2019/20 season does not need to be rushed.

Ely City joint-boss Luke McAvoy. Picture: DAN MASON

Ely City joint-boss Luke McAvoy. Picture: DAN MASON - Credit: Archant

Speculation is rife that the campaign for Step 5 (the level at which the Robins play) and Step 6 will be terminated this week due to the Coronavirus crisis.

City are third-bottom of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division having completed 30 of their 38 scheduled games. They are four points clear of the two sides below them – Gorleston and Hadleigh – who each have three games in hand.

Only the side finishing bottom is set to be relegated from Step 5 this season with a points-per-game (PPG) calculation expected to be worked out to determine the final standings. That method keeps City above those two clubs although another option is to declare the current season null and void.

Regardless of the outcome, a tough time lies ahead for City along with many other non-league clubs.

McAvoy said “To simply null and void the season would be unfair on teams at all levels who have invested money to try to get promoted.

“The PPG is probably the fairest way to settle a tough situation but I don’t think that decision has to necessarily be made just yet. The country is on lockdown for several weeks so we’re not in any great rush.

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“At the moment the club is really worried about getting the bills paid and will probably have to put some building work to upgrade the changing rooms on hold.

“It’s going to take a really big effort to raise funds once we get up and running again.”

McAvoy admits football has not been at the forefront of his thoughts in recent days with the country gripped by the Coronavirus outbreak.

Like many people McAvoy has seen his livelihood halted and turned his focus to childcare with his wife working on the medical frontline as a nurse at Papworth Hospital.

“I’ve got to admit that football hasn’t really been on my mind,” added McAvoy. “The focus is very much on family at the moment in such an uncertain time.

“I’m a driving instructor by trade so I’m not working and not earning, but my wife is a nurse and very busy.

“There have been a few bits and bobs in our team WhatsApp group, but I think most of us have to more worry about than football.

“Perhaps if we were going for a title or had a cup final to look forward to, we might be a bit more eager to know what’s going to happen.

“Once there is an official confirmation that this season is done we can start planning for next season. I don’t feel comfortable having those conversations until we know for sure either way.”