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What the Vote of No Confidence outcome means for the National League

calendario 29.05.2021
by: Zach
  • England
  • Vanarama National
What the Vote of No Confidence outcome means for the National League

In this week’s Emergency General Meeting, all 66 National League Member clubs voted on the board’s future in an extraordinary Vote of No Confidence. The vote follows a year of uncertainty on and off the pitch, with funding disputes and coronavirus restrictions plaguing all three leagues. Ultimately, the Vote of No Confidence failed, as the movement against the No Confidence received 22 out of 29 votes, with 2 votes to abstain. However, the wills of each member club tell a different story.

In total, 33 of the 36 member clubs voted No Confidence in the National League Board. However, the league voting system only affords four votes each to the National Leagues North and South. The majority of clubs in the National League North and South voted No Confidence: 16 of the 22 clubs in the National League North and 17 of the 21 in the South. However, the fact that none of the National League’s top-flight voted no confidence made the vote impossible to carry, no matter the will of the lower two leagues.

Not a single club in the upper National League voted to remove the board, although two clubs abstained. This raises particular questions in the case of Dover Athletic, the National League club punished for failing to field a team for several fixtures during the lockdown. Dover cancelled their season early in 2020, and the National League punished the club with a £40,000 fine and a 12-points suspended penalty for next season.

The two National League abstentions may stem from the National League Chairman’s own decision. The Chairman, Brian Barwick, agreed to resign at the end of the season, regardless of the vote. Alongside this change in leadership, circumstances also change for every club at every level as pandemic restrictions lift in the UK. 

Regardless of the outcome, clubs look forward to a safe and prosperous season in the near future. This National League vote ultimately says just as much about the voting system itself as it does about the member clubs' wills. Recent events motivated the majority of National League North and South clubs to vote to remove the board. This vote, much like their null and voided seasons, will not count towards their progress. The clubs must therefore find other ways to determine their fates.

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