Amid financial turmoil, in a year like no other, tonight’s game against Solihull Moors could be Notts County’s final of the season.
The National League are set for talks this week with clubs in the league to decide on the future of their football season, with reports suggesting the season will be scrapped for the second-successive year.
Clubs will vote on what the best outcome will be, with many believing that they can not survive if the season resumes and no financial support is offered.
With the expected outcome being that the season is once again stopped, the league will be either made null-and-void or decided via points-per-game, like last season.
This is how the league table would look now, if the season were decided by points-per-game.
As it stands, Notts County would move up into the play-off places in sixth, up from eighth if the season were to be decided by points-per-game.
Should it be decided that the playoffs would go ahead, the Magpies would hope to go one better than their promotion challenge last season, which ended with a 3-1 defeat to Harrogate Town in the final.
There would be controversy too, as Maidenhead United would jump up from 11th to seventh, stealing the final playoff place from Halifax Town, who would be moved down from sixth to 12th.
Despite the benefit this would bring to Notts County, some fans disagree that the season should follow in the footsteps of last season, and that the season should continue or be declared null-and-void.
In a poll, 34 per cent of fans voted that the season should be made null-and-void, while only 24 per cent are in favour of a points-per-game solution.
Notts County fan Damien Dixon said, “those who can play on should be allowed to do so”, a sentiment which has been supported by other fans.
The danger is however, that the number of teams who want to continue is so few that there would be no point in continuing to play.
One other fan, Tim, said he “genuinely doesn’t see an option but for clubs to take the loans on, and continue playing.”
The season’s future has been thrown in doubt all season, with confirmation of the start of the season coming just a week before the first matches were played.
The latest doubt for the season came last week after the government announced that any future support to clubs would come in the form of long-term, low interest loans, instead of a non-repayable grant, as they received at the start of the season.
The government have announced a support package of £10m to grassroots sports, but this does not include clubs in the National League or it’s lower divisions North and South.
Grants will be offered to National League clubs on a case-by-case basis, but only if their imminent future is at risk, and many clubs believe that continuing to play would put them on the brink of going bust.
National League side Macclesfield Town went bust earlier this season, and many believe that they will go the same way without another grant they believed they were promised.
The government have come under fire, with claims that they have gone back on their promise, but the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have fought back, saying that these claims are “untrue”.