The founder and general manager of Oxhey Jets has vowed to the club will survive the coronavirus pandemic and has contacted the Football Association with a proposal on how the lower league football season can be completed.

Sport is facing an uncertain time due to the Covid-19 outbreak and the FA has recommended all grassroots football should be suspended following government advice to avoid social contact and mass gatherings.

John Elliott admits the Spartan South Midlands League club are in a high-risk category, but he is determined to it will remain come through this unprecedented situation and is suggesting a way forward for the game at Step Four of the pyramid and below where player contracts are not commonplace.

Clubs were already facing a fixture pile-up due to this year’s bad weather, but with games currently postponed in leagues including the lower divisions of the Southern and Isthmian, the South Midlands and Herts Senior County, the Jets founder believes the FA should effectively end this season with immediate effect to allow clubs to start renovating their pitches.

Rather than make any decisions about promotion and relegation now though, Mr Elliott’s plan is too freeze the league standings as they are and resume this season in August. Remaining league fixtures will stay be played with the aim of completing ‘this’ season in January, at which point any play-off matches will be played as normal. That would then allow for a longer than usual period for league boundaries to be redrawn and for appeals to be lodged and considered.

Furthermore, all current cup competitions – the majority of which are at the semi-final or final stage – will also be carried over and played after the resumption of the league season in August.

What is central to the proposal though, is that ‘next’ season’s cups will be still drawn afresh and take place as normal, starting with the early rounds of the FA competitions which are played in the opening weeks of the campaign.

Therefore, the cup competitions will still have winners for the 2019/20 and 2020/21, it is only the league that will stretch into what he proposes should be known as the 2019/21 season given the exceptional circumstances.

Mr Elliott said of his plan the he sent by email to the FA: “The only thing that’s going into a two-season thing is the league itself which was cancelled totally during the war. Governments are using the words we are at war with an unseen enemy.

“There are no losers. I know people are going to buck and argue, but they’re not missing out on a season in the league above because no one else in the league above is having a season in the league above either. Under a war standing they’ve had to combine the two together.

“There’s people saying stop the season now and whoever’s won it has won it. Why’s that fair when you’ve got teams one or two points behind or clubs in a relegation zones only a few points away from safety? Why should they now be told they’re relegated in front of whoever? If we do what I’m suggesting everyone plays their season to a conclusion.”

The Jets general manager, who formed the club in 1972, suggests a one-off league cup competition would need to be reintroduced in January of February to fill up the remainder of 'next' season, but believes a decision on the format does not need to be taken until nearer the time when any weather disruption to fixtures can be taken into account.

He continued: “You kick off the season with the FA Cup and the FA Vase ties. That’s great because it gives us something new to look forward to. It’s important to keep all the new season cups in because that sparks a new season for the rest of us that are already out of things and are going into an end of season run-in.

“It’s really important they’ve got all the new cups in because that gives all of us six or seven things to play for still. That is a must. It must not be that we only play this year’s stuff out, but the semi-finals and finals still go ahead.

“We want an FA Vase and we want an FA Cup. It doesn’t matter if we start the early rounds when we haven’t had this year’s one [FA Cup completed yet] because we’re not going to get into a cup final anyway. “They [the top two professional divisions] don’t come in until January.

“If the rule is you have to have all of this season’s stuff wrapped up by January, then play the play-offs, then they’ve got February, March, April and May to sit down and decide the new leagues, put them out and then clubs have time to appeal, instead of all this ‘we’ve got to have it all sorted by next week’. It suits the FA as well.

“I’ve sat here long hours thinking about this and I cannot find a loser in it. The only thing that is lost, technically, is a football league season, but the season becomes the 2019/21 season. That is the only thing that changes.

“I know people are going to kick off, a league leader will say ‘we wanted to be up’, but if the league above’s not changed either they’ve not lost anything.

“It’s better than saying a void season and it’s better than deciding it on points per game. It don’t really matter to people like us that are fifth at the moment and will end up sixth under points per game, but the things that really affect people, promotion and relegation and cup finals, they are all still in there, they’ve all still got their big days.

“There’s nothing that favours another club or any club because what it says is you’re still going to get what you’ve earned. There are no losers that wouldn’t lose anyway and the winners will still win.

“There’s no injured party because nobody’s having anything forced on them that they haven’t put themselves in the position of. The teams in the relegation zone are in the relegation zone, the teams that are out of it are out of it, we’ve just got to finish the jobs off.

“And the [player] registrations might as well hold because that stops complicating the cups. Someone’s going to say the registrations for the cups are going to change if players transfer. It’s quite simple. You have to be eligible for this year’s tournament to play in the final and things like that.”

Turning to the future of his own club, Mr Elliott knows a difficult road lies ahead but vowed: “We will survive it because I’ll make sure we’ll survive it, but it’s going to be hard.

“We will survive it because we are not a flippant club, we don’t pay loads of salaries. We run as we run and I will undertake, as long as I come out of it okay, to keep the club running.

“But I’m in a high-risk category and I’m being realistic and knowing that we are at high risk. I believe most clubs [at a similar level to Jets] are in the high-risk category. There are not many owners under 50 or 60 that are running the clubs or secretaries or fixture secretaries because they are all people with experience. If you take the average league, most leagues are being run by retired people.

“One of the lads said to me the other night, ‘John, what do you hope will come out of the season for Jets? What do you think we can do?’ And I said is all I want to come out with is as many of our friends and family as we’ve got now. That’s how I ended the conversation. It wasn’t about football.”