The National League expect legal challenges should they follow other parts of non-league football by expunging the season, with expiring player contracts the biggest obstacle to completing the campaign.
Club officials in the fifth tier of English football will meet again on Friday to decide proposals on how to conclude 2019/20, following the announcement non-league football below them will see no promotion or relegation.
South Shields, who were top of the Northern Premier Division, have said they will look at legal action after being denied their chance to go up. "SSFC will be writing to the FA in the strongest possible terms and will seek an appeal or will take legal action,” wrote their chairman Geoff Thompson on Twitter.
With football on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, the National League are still undecided on how to complete the season.
“The smaller clubs will want to terminate the season to crystalise their liabilities,” said a National League board member. “The other clubs will want to complete the season in order to have their promotion and relegation resolved with the EFL.
“What you wouldn’t want to happen is the promotion and relegation places between the EFL and National League reduced in any way. No club would want to give up promotion for nothing so that would be open to massive legal challenge.”
The board meeting on Thursday did not result in an agreement but when clubs decide on the best way to conclude the season, the FA will sanction the proposals, followed by a vote at a National League emergency general meeting.
Barrow are currently top of the division and want the proposals to see them promoted to the EFL, or given the chance to complete the season.
However, the complexities of player contracts in the National League makes it difficult for fixtures to extend the season into the summer.
Some deals end at the end of April, while others end on June 30 like players in the Premier League. It means resuming matches could see a number of players out of contract and clubs without the budget to extend.
Results for this season will be expunged for the rest of the non-league divisions. The same applies to women's football below the Women's Super League and Championship, with no promotion and relegation, while grassroots football has been brought to a close for the season.
The FA are also "reviewing all options" to complete the men's FA Cup, which is at the quarter-final stage, and other cup competitions.
“Clubs involved are close to reaching a major final and for those clubs and supporters we will do all we can to keep the Wembley dream alive,” read a statement from the FA.