BRAINTREE Town's season will not be extended after the Football Association’s Alliance Committee rejected a proposal from some of the teams in National South and North to continue playing.

The idea of a mini-league formed between clubs in the two divisions at step two - one down from the National League - and any alternative has been turned down “in the interest of the integrity of the National League System.”

Proposals from National League South and North Division clubs wanting to see the current season completed centred around a plan to stage four mini leagues – two for clubs in the North and two in the South – in the style of the European club championships.

It would have seen a total of eight clubs each from both the North and South clubs competing in the mini division playing each other twice.

The winners of each of the two regional mini divisions would have then played each other in a play-off semi final with the respective winners going forward to play in a one-off overall final for that coveted top spot to gain promotion to the National League’s top division, which has continued to play this season with a club short following the demise of Macclesfield.

The proposed 16 clubs who would have been involved in the end of season finale, which could have included Braintree as one of the clubs continuing to have players train and play behind the doors friendly games, had an added incentive in that the current club bottom of the National League – Dover Athletic – have refused to carry on without government cash support.

It meant the league executive can fine the Kent club for not completing their fixtures as per the constitution or even expel them from the competition altogether which would then mean another vacancy in next season’s top division.

Up until January all National League clubs, including Braintree, were given cash grants to carry on as an elite sport during the lockdowns, meaning no spectators allowed to watch games or having any other income for the clubs to survive and carry on playing.

The sticking point arrived when in January it was announced that clubs could have loans – money they would have to pay back in time – and not cash grants which resulted in a vote amongst clubs that saw a narrow overall majority to stop the season, unless they were given further cash grants to help them compete.

Several clubs in both the North and South, such as league leaders Dorking Wanderers in the South and Gloucester City in the North, had threatened legal action to force the league executive to carry on because they regarded the phrasing of the various voting options to be unconstitutional but they have now opted for the mini league concept to settle the issues.

Speaking before the decision was made, Braintree manager Ryan Maxwell remains philosophical about the eventual outcome adding: “We’ll have to wait and see what happens because at the end of the day it’s down to the FA to decide.

“If we are involved in someway then fine we’ll be ready to play as we are now training weekly and have friendly matches going on but whatever our aim is to be fully geared up and to hit the ground running for the start of next season anyway.

“I’m really confident of the Iron future because we now have the nucleus of a good squad already and there’s a tremendous team spirit in the camp which is a good omen.”