THE non-league football season from steps three to six has been terminated with immediate effect.

The situation had been in huge doubt, because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

March's fixtures had previously been postponed and it was unclear if or when the action would resume - or how promotion and relegation places would be decided.

Now The FA have issued a statement saying all results will be expunged and there will be no promotion or relegation of clubs between steps three to six or relegation from step two.

This development affects Brightlingsea Regent, who are bottom of the BetVictor Isthmian League premier division, as well as north division quartet Maldon and Tiptree, Heybridge Swifts, Coggeshall Town and Witham Town.

Stanway Rovers, FC Clacton and Brantham Athletic play in the Thurlow Nunn League premier division - step five - while step six features division south sides Little Oakley, Harwich and Parkeston, Halstead Town, Holland FC, Wivenhoe Town, Coggeshall United and Brightlingsea Regent Reserves.

Regent were sitting bottom of the Isthmian League premier division, so have been spared relegation, while Maldon were top of division north. Swifts were fourth, in the play-off zone, and Coggeshall sixth.

Stanway were third in the Thurlow Nunn League premier division while Oakley were third in first division south, with Holland fifth and Halstead seventh.

An FA statement read: "We have been working collaboratively with the National League System (NLS), the women’s football pyramid and the wider grassroots game since the outbreak of COVID-19 on how to conclude the 2019-20 season in the most appropriate way possible.

"These are challenging circumstances for English football and all decisions taken are in the best interests of the game and in consultation across key stakeholders.

"Our primary concern will always be for the safety and welfare of clubs, players, staff, officials, volunteers and supporters during this unprecedented time.

"Today’s steps take into account the financial impact during this uncertain period, whilst considering the fairest method on how the sporting outcomes for the season will be decided with the integrity of the leagues in mind.

"As a result, The FA and NLS steps three to six have reached a consensus that their 2019-20 season will now be brought to an end and all results will be expunged.

"This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between NLS steps three to six and no promotion to NLS step two.

"These decisions will also apply to the leagues and clubs who play at NLS step seven."