DORCHESTER Town are backing a null and void ending to the Pitching In Southern Premier South campaign.

Robbie Herrera’s Magpies have played just seven games of a possible 38 in a 2020/21 season that began four months ago on Saturday, September 19.

With Dorchester playing in Step 3 of the National League System (NLS), their fixtures have been subject to ‘non-elite’ status.

That forced lengthy stoppages in play amid two winter lockdowns, before the Southern League postponed games up to and including Saturday, March 6.

Last season, Dorchester were reprieved from relegation after the FA voided the season due to Covid-19.

Speaking to Echosport, Dorchester chairman Scott Symes admitted a fair alternative to cancelling the campaign is tricky to find.

He said: “There’s been lots of discussion. Most teams have played between six and nine games.

“Because of the amount of games played, null and void is the only fair way.

“How some clubs, certainly when we had the tiers, could open their bars and some couldn’t, highlighted the financial models in place at non-League football clubs.

“Some clubs need every penny to run their team. That’s the way things have built up over many years.

“Was it fair that a third of your matchday income had gone? Whereas a third of the income at clubs down the road hadn’t?

“Straight away, based on the way players are paid at our level, it wouldn’t be long before everyone would be floating off to a Tier 2 club.

“There were lots of complexities to it and with the current climate and time we’re going to have to break, null and void is the only way to do it.”

Theories including points per game, regionalised leagues and completing seasons in the summer have all been put forward.

Dorset Echo: Dorchester Town chairman Scott Symes Picture: PHIL STANDFIELDDorchester Town chairman Scott Symes Picture: PHIL STANDFIELD

Symes said: “What do we want to do as a society?

“Football is really important in many different ways, to kids, adults, fans, volunteers, everyone.

“When we were at the start of the pandemic and little was known about how we would at least live in a safe environment, I could sympathise with every (theory).

“Whether it was points per game, there were arguments for all cases.

“Whereas now, the best idea is to vaccinate to get out of this. Therefore, we all know what we’ve got to do to reach a point where we can all play safely and run football clubs in nearly a normal way.

“My view is just start a season fresh, where we know we’re going to finish it.”

Symes also stressed the Magpies will survive the pandemic financially.

“Whatever was to happen with the season, what we are demanded to do by the Southern League, we’re financially in a good place to manage what the pandemic throws at us,” he said.

“That’s taken a lot of hard work, a lot of board meetings and a change in the way we operate as a board and club.

“We’re not fearing. Whatever we’re told, we’ve not got a problem with.

“For the good of football, if we all start with players knowing we’re not going to stop playing again and again, clubs knowing financially they’ve got a good run from a sponsorship perspective, then we’ll all be in a lot better place.”

Magpies’ boss Herrera echoed Symes’ views on null and void, adding: “I can’t see any other way.

“You could probably extend the season, but not everybody’s going to be up for that.

“Not everybody’s going to be able to commit to prolonging the season.

“For relegation and promotion, how do you judge that? It’s going to be a difficult one.

“I know they spoke about regionalising it, but I’ve looked at what we’ll have in our league and that’s a tough old league.

“You’re talking about the majority of clubs with big budgets and they’re always up and around the top chasing for promotion anyway.

“If it came to it, I’d do it – it would be good. I don’t know how they’re going to figure it out.

“I think the conclusion will be null and void, we’ll be safe and we can start looking forward to pre-season in July again.”

Herrera admitted the points per game model is difficult.

“I don’t think that’s the way they could do it,” he said. “If it comes to that, we’d challenge it.

“The only way is null and void. With all due respect, I’ve just stepped in, taken over and I’m trying to change a few things.

“Who’s to say that we couldn’t have gone on a run of winning three or four games on the trot?”