THE Southern and Western League seasons have been terminated with immediate effect, meaning that the 2020/21 campaign joins its predecessor in being declared null and void due to Covid-19.

Southern League fixtures have been suspended since early November, and Western League games since December, with the current national lockdown preventing any grassroots sport from being played.

The government released its 'roadmap' for the easing of Covid-19 restrictions this week, which states that sporting events can welcome fans back into stadiums from Monday, May 17.

READ MORE: What government 'roadmap' means for sport in Somerset

The Football Association (FA) said that the grassroots football season could be extended into June to allow fixtures to be played, but this extension does not apply to Steps 3-6 of the National League System - which included the Southern and Western Leagues.

With Southern League sides Taunton Town and Frome Town having only played six and seven league matches so far this season, respectively, it did not look likely that they would play on after lockdown.

Bridgwater Town (12), Shepton Mallet (11), Street (13), Wellington (14), Bishops Lydeard (11) and Wells City (10) have also been limited in the number of Western League games they have been able to play.

Now, following the publication of the government roadmap, a further update confirms that the 2020/21 season is over for those teams.

The update says: "The FA’s Alliance and Leagues Committees have now considered the large amount of data and information submitted by clubs across the National League System (NLS) Steps 3-6 as part of a survey to gather views on the continuation or conclusion of the 2020/21 league season, in addition to the information set out in the government’s roadmap this week.

"Submissions were made by 99.1 per cent of clubs at Steps 3-4 [including Southern League], and 95.8 per cent of clubs at Steps 5-6 [Western League].

"We would like to thank the clubs for submitting their views and the time taken in providing responses during what we appreciate is an incredibly challenging period for everyone.

"The results of the survey showed that over 76 per cent of all clubs across Steps 3-6 indicated a preference to curtail the 2020/21 league season if it could not be restarted with limited spectator numbers and hospitality before April 1, 2021.

"During this process, taking into account views of clubs and leagues, it was decided that extending the 2020/21 league season beyond the end of May 2021 would not be a viable option.

"This was due to various considerations, including the financial implications for many clubs, player contracts and the extent of the fixture scheduling issues caused by the national lockdown and various postponements, which had resulted in there being 81 per cent of matches left to complete for Steps 3-4, and 75 per cent at Steps 5-6.

"Taking into account the survey results and the ongoing impact of Covid-19, which continues to adversely affect incomes for clubs due to restrictions on both spectators and hospitality, the FA’s Alliance and Leagues Committees have reached a consensus that, subject to the approval of FA Council, the 2020/21 league season for Steps 3-6 of the NLS should be curtailed with immediate effect, with no further league matches taking place this season.

"The Committees will now present their collective recommendations to the FA Council for ratification.

"It has also been decided that, subject to FA Council’s decision regarding the curtailment of the season at Steps 3-6, both committees will revisit discussions around a potential restructure at Steps 4-6 of the NLS, which was previously agreed and has been on hold since the 2019/20 season."

The Southern League added: "We would like to put on record our gratitude to all our member clubs for their co-operation during a very difficult period for everyone.

"Despite no further competitive league games taking place this season, we hope to welcome all our existing member clubs back for the commencement of the 2021/22 league season.

"We shall advise in the coming weeks the start date of the 2021/22 season."