PORTHLEVEN manager Graham Blake has joined the list of supporters for declaring the current football season null and void amid growing fears that the season will not be able to be completed.

With the end of May deadline for completing the campaign unlikely to be extended by the Football Association, there is a growing recognition that even if restrictions are lifted to allow football to resume at the start of March, there will not be enough time to complete the season.

With that in mind, Blake feels that the season should be written off and the focus should now be on everyone’s safety.

“I think it’s got to the stage now where it’s about keeping people safe,” Blake said. “It’s good that the Premier League is carrying on because I think it helps everyone who is in isolation and not able to go out, it’s something to look forward to.

“But when it comes to local football, I just think we haven’t got the precautions that the Premier League can give, the testing facilities and that kind of stuff. Personally I feel there’s a lot of older people who watch grassroots football and I think we've got to be looking at them more than anything.

“Until everyone’s had a vaccine, personally I don’t think we should be doing local football.”

Blake has joined several managers up and down the country in saying that the season should be declared null and void.

The 2019/20 season was also declared null and void and the decision was met with widespread criticism, but with last year's campaign at a much more advanced stage when play was suspended in March, there is a growing acceptance that voiding this campaign is the likely outcome.

South West Peninsula League teams still have an average of 22 games left to play, with that figure as high as 33 elsewhere in England.

Blake also supported a proposal from Helston Athletic boss Steve Massey, who told the Packet in December that he would like to see a local mini-tournament played to fill the gap before the start of a new campaign in August.

Massey proposed that clubs could be split into groups and play local pool matches, with teams then advancing to a knockout stage before a winner is crowned.

“Until it happens to someone you know it doesn’t become real," Blake said. "I’m fortunate enough that it’s not happened to me yet and I don’t want it to. I’d rather keep everyone safe.

“I think Mass [Steve Massey] had a good idea where if there’s a case that we could do something with local teams when it becomes safe towards the end of the season, then [play] a little mini tournament or something like that.

“But to finish the league I think its going to be a struggle with the amount of games that we have to play. If we don’t come out of lockdown or if the vaccine isn’t done until March, April time then it’s never going to get done.

“I feel we call the season null and void. I think we start afresh next year with the hope that this nightmare is over.”

Blake also appealed for more support from the FA and the Government to help clubs get back on their feet once the pandemic is over after what will have been more than a year without a regular income for most local clubs.

“When we come out of Covid, people are going to want to watch local football. They’re going to want to watch local sport, whatever it may be,” he said.

“I think it’s important that the FA and the government realise that and make sure they support these local teams and clubs, whatever they may be – football, hockey, whatever.”