York City were sitting on top of National League North when the season was brought to an early end by coronavirus in March.
But the club could be denied any chance of promotion, which would be an act that most in football would see as a serious sporting injustice.
At a meeting on Monday (15 June) the league looks set to agree to use an unweighted points-per-game (PPG) basis to decide promotion in National League North and South, with no teams relegated.
That would see Kings Lynn Town leapfrog City to claim the top spot and automatic promotion.
But the board also wants to axe play-offs in the North and South leagues, denying City any chance of promotion.
So City have tabled an amendment to the plan which says, in the event of play-offs being cancelled, the teams that would have finished in the top two spots via PPG should be promoted.
And it has launched a campaign with the hashtag #Promote2 to showcase the plan. As of Saturday afternoon, its tweet had been retweeted 2.2K times, taking it into the Twitter Trending list.
At this stage, however, the league is set to reject City’s amendment before it even gets put to the vote.
Play-offs back on?
The National League said it was ditching play-offs in the North and South divisions to follow government advice, as they are not classed in the elite sport bracket.
However news came on Saturday afternoon to say the government would be contacting National League chairman to say there is no official advice that players in the North and South divisions are not elite athletes.
As many – including at City – derive part or all of their income from playing football they should be considered elite.
That would bring back the possibility of play-offs.
Rachael Maskell, the MP for York Central, has written to Oliver Dowden, the cabinet member with responsibility for sport to pause proceedings and make further consideration of York City’s proposals, “which I back 100%, as it is the fairest way to conclude the season”.
“The loss of live sports has been hard enough for fans, but when arbitrary decisions are made, which are completely unfair, it devalues the sport.
“York City players have worked hard to pull themselves out of the Northern League and these efforts should be awarded with promotion if play offs behind closed doors are disallowed.
“There is no rush to make this decision over the next few days, it is more important to get this right.
“This would have been York City’s last season at Bootham Crescent, it is only right that this era ends fairly.”
Cllr Danny Myers, leader of the York Labour Group, added: “York City are at the top of the league. They have fought for every point it would be wrong and unfair if they were to be robbed of promotion at this late stage.
“I have written to the National League urging them to accept York City’s amendment.”