CHIPPENHAM Town chairman Neil Blackmore believes declaring the National League South season null and void was “the only way for it to go” under current circumstances.

The National League South and North were both cancelled last Thursday after clubs voted in a referendum to decide on how the season should be decided.

While 12 clubs in the South division voted to continue its season, Chippenham was one of the nine to argue the campaign should be scrapped. And after vastly more counterparts in National League North felt the same (15-7), the decision to null and void the season was taken with immediate effect.

Blackmore said he felt compelled to vote in favour of ending the season now as he could not put the health of the club at risk by piling more loans back into the finances after working so hard to reduce debt at the Thornbury Surfacing Stadium since taking over.

He said: “I wouldn’t say I’m happy with the decision because we – like everyone else – wanted to finish, but it just was not going to be possible without any grant funding.

“There was no way we could do it because, without having fans in, we’ve got no income and we couldn’t afford to carry on. Under the circumstances, it was the only way for it to go really.

“I just feel sorry for everybody at the club who had put so much work into getting games on this season – they do it every season, but especially this season.

“The ground staff, the players, the coaching – a lot of work has gone into this season, and it’s all for nothing now.”

After the decision was made to null and void the campaign, several clubs in both regional divisions are thought to be considering legal action in order to try and gain promotion to the National League.

Blackmore suggested he feels clubs like Gloucester City are unlikely to achieve much but did state his empathy for those determined to fight for their spot in the fifth tier.

He said: “The problem is far from over because there are also seven clubs in the National League that don’t want to continue, so I don’t know how that’s going to be sorted out.

“As for the clubs that want to take legal action, I feel sorry for them because if we were near the top of the league I’m sure I’d feel differently about it.

“But as far as I’m aware, the National League followed all the necessary protocols they needed to.

“Clubs had 28 days to respond, so I don’t really see they have a leg to stand on, but maybe a judge will see it differently.”