League rivals backing York City’s bid for promotion, says Steve Watson

York City manager Steve Watson.  Picture Jonathan GawthorpeYork City manager Steve Watson.  Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
York City manager Steve Watson. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
YORK CITY manager Steve Watson says that the club have the support of their National League North rivals after proposing an amendment to the National League’s resolution to promote just one club in the division in 2019-20 – and not two.

Players and staff at Bootham Crescent were left disappointed and shocked on Thursday when the National League proposed to decide final placings in National League North and South by unweighted points per game (PPG), promote the side who finish first and not have play-offs.

Under PPG, King’s Lynn - who were second when the National League North season was curtailed in March - would be promoted to first above York, who had a two-point advantage but had played two games more.

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Under the governing body’s proposals, just one team would go down from Step One (National League) and there would be no relegation in Step Two (National League North and South).

Clubs have until Monday to decide whether to support the motion regarding the National League’s proposals regarding promotion and relegation.

All National League clubs will have a vote, with the North and South divisions having four votes each. York have tabled an amendment that would allow the top two clubs in Step Two to be promoted if play-offs are not possible.

The National League wrote to clubs in the potential Step Two play-off places - including York - on Wednesday night to explain that the government’s current policy when it comes to the resumption of elite sport doesn’t include Step Two football.

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Watson told The Yorkshire Post: “The biggest thing for me is the change in direction in terms of how many go up and how many go down.

“Throughout it all, they (National League) have aligned themselves to the EFL who have stuck to their original plan of number of relegations and promotions.

“For some reason, the National League have decided to only relegate the one team and promote the two (one team each from National League North and National League South) and it is the first league to do that and it could create all kinds of problems for themselves.

“Rivals of ours who we have locked horns with all season and teams we have had real scraps against and managers who we have rows with all accept that (York’s position). I have heard some great support from other managers.

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“Football does understand. The part that someone like myself doesn’t quite get is that the two best teams should be rewarded with promotion. Unfortunately, the other side of the story is that if you are down the bottom of the league and have a disappointing season, punishment comes with that.

“But the way things were proposed, it was almost going to be that we were going to get punished for being successful and teams were going to get rewarded for having a poor season.”

“I don’t like to talk about other teams, but that is football and the way it is. I was surprised as anything when that came out.

“The chairman and Dave (Penney - sporting director) have worked very hard over the last 24 hours to put a resolution to the National League to be considered, which will also be voted for by clubs. We have just got to put our faith in people to do the right thing.”

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