THE non-league football season’s limbo has been put to bed after the FA and their partner leagues declared that all competitions from step three and below will have their records expunged.

That means any football from Southern League Premier South levels and below is effectively null and void, and will start over for the 2020-21 campaign.

The situation will end any lingering promotion and relegation battles as authorities chose against doing so on a points-per-game basis.

The PPG method has been used in the past, notably when deciding which play-off winners were to be promoted from step four last season – which effectively left some showpiece finals worthless.

A number of Wiltshire clubs will be impacted in the Western League, most notably Bradford Town, who would have topped the PPG table above Plymouth Parkway to win promotion to the Southern League for the first time in their history.

Promotion will also be denied Calne Town who were top of Division 1, which would have seen as many as four teams go up had the FA’s restructuring gone ahead.

No local Southern League teams had been facing relegation, and though Swindon Supermarine sat in Premier South’s play-off positions, they would not have been promoted via PPG.

Melksham Town were in a similar situation in the final play-off spot in Division 1 South.

In the Hellenic League, New College Swindon – who had collected only one point all season – will get a reprieve from any potential relegation.

A statement from the FA read: “We have been working collaboratively with the National League System (NLS), the women’s football pyramid and the wider grassroots game since the outbreak of COVID-19 on how to conclude the 2019-20 season in the most appropriate way possible.

“These are challenging circumstances for English football and all decisions taken are in the best interests of the game and in consultation across key stakeholders.

“Our primary concern will always be for the safety and welfare of clubs, players, staff, officials, volunteers and supporters during this unprecedented time.

“Today’s steps take into account the financial impact during this uncertain period, whilst considering the fairest method on how the sporting outcomes for the season will be decided with the integrity of the leagues in mind.”

It continued: “The NLS and the women’s football pyramid were able to build a consensus amongst their leagues and, where possible, aimed to create a consistent approach across all leagues, whilst taking into account the unique characteristics of each individual league.

“As a result, The FA and NLS steps three to six have reached a consensus that their 2019-20 season will now be brought to an end, and all results will be expunged.

“This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between NLS steps three to six, and no promotion to NLS step two.

“These decisions will also apply to the leagues and clubs who play at NLS step seven.”

The move also means the planned restructuring of the non-league pyramid for next season - which would have introduced an eighth division at step four matching Highworth Town’s Southern League One South - is on hold for a year.

That would have seen additional clubs flowing up from the likes of the Hellenic and Western League divisions, with some promotions and relegations again using PPG for decision-making.

For the time being no decision has been made on promotion from the National League, and the switch of teams between their first and second tiers, but National League South basement boys Hungerford have been spared their likely fate.

However, the league themselves were preparing to fall in line with the rest of non-league in terminating their season early.

Meanwhile, women’s football below the FA Women’s Championship has been cancelled – including Swindon Town Women’s season.

The same goes for other grassroots football, though the FA are endeavouring to save the FA Cup, Trophy, Vase and Women’s FA Cup.