YORK City’s requested amendment to the National League for two sides to be promoted has been rejected, though there is renewed hope that the play-offs can be played.

Originally, the National League has proposed that the final league standings in its three divisions be decided through a points-per-game (PPG) system, seeing National League North leaders fall behind King’s Lynn Town.

And, it was claimed, that the Government’s lockdown rules did not extend to allowing for play-off matches in the the National Leagues North and South, as this did not constitute as “elite sport”.

Under the league’s proposals, only one team - the division leaders - would therefore be promoted from the North and the South divisions.

City’s request was for the top two sides in the North and the South divisions to be promoted, should the play-offs not be able to be played.

The National League Board voted against this resolution however.

But there has been widespread criticism for the League’s suggestion that the Government’s lockdown restrictions would prevent play-offs in Step Two from taking place.

Alan Mak - the MP for Havant, which covers National League South side Havant & Waterlooville (HWFC) who, like York, will finish second after PPG - has publicly called out the League’s interpretation.

In letter to the National League chairman Brian Barwick, Mak wrote: “The Government has not expressed a view about whether the National League and/or the National League South are - or are not - ‘elite’, and has not expressed a view about whether the players employed by HWFC are “elite athletes” or not under the regulations.

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“The Government doesn’t give case-by-case guidance at such a granular level, and they’ve not issued a special ‘directive’ about the National League, the National League, the National League South or HWFC.

“It is up to the National League to decide whether there are play-offs this season and how it promotes and relegates teams in the leagues that it oversees.

“‘Elite athlete’ means, in the regulations, a person who is ‘an individual who derives a living from competing in a sport’.

“If HWFC and the National League agree that HWFC’s players meet this definition, the Government is not intending to prevent National League South play-offs from taking place or HWFC from taking part, if this can all be done safely and with regard to the Government’s Covid-19 guidance and the wider public health advice.

“I am calling on you and your colleagues at the National League to organise play-offs for the National League South.

“If the playoffs cannot be organised, then I am calling on you and the National League to automatically promote HWFC to the National League on the basis of their league position to date this season.

“I would be grateful if you could confirm the National League’s position as a matter of urgency.”

It is now thought that should the Government allow Step Two play-offs to take place, that the play-offs would then be back on the table in regards to voting.

National League clubs were due to vote before Monday on the original proposal, though it is now expected that this will be delayed until Tuesday.