Shildon have joined forces with 40 other clubs in the National League system in an attempt to force the FA to change its no-promotion policy.

The Railwaymen, second in the EBAC Northern League, were told by the FA last week that they wouldn’t be promoted, because the FA has ruled that their season, along with other levels of the national system below National League North, must end now, and all results are declared null and void.

South Shields were 12 points clear of the rest in the BetVictor NPL Premier Division with nine games left, while Stockton Town were 13 points clear of Shildon at the top of the Northern League.

Shildon chairman David Dent said: “We’ve got to fight this decision - none of the clubs involved can shake off a strong feeling of injustice.

“We are the first to admit that there is a lot going on in the world, and hopefully we’ll get back to normality at some point.

“So why are the FA acting now before the end of March? Why the rush to make this decision and impose it upon a few people? How do we know when we’ll be playing football again?

“Nobody consulted Shildon, and as far as I know, didn’t consult any of the other clubs who are affected.

“We asked for clarity about players’ contracts originally, and instead we were given this decision about promotion.”

The pressure group, led by South Shields chairman Geoff Thompson, is now urging the decision-makers to change their mind at FA Council level.

“There are a considerable number of clubs involved who are writing to the FA – the groundswell of opinion about this is huge and we are gaining support,’’ said Thompson. “Would it happen to Liverpool at the top of the Premier League?

“To us, the FA has a duty of care to every club and we should all be treated the same.”

Stockton Town chairman Martin Hillerby is also fully behind the move.

He said: “This decision not only affects the football club, it also affects the community around it. We have spent thousands on the club, building everything up, and wanting it to be the best it can be. There are clubs up and down the country behind this. Jersey Bulls won their league and had celebrated promotion – now they’ve been told that they won’t be going up.

“The FA has given us no guidance at all. It should have said that the season is suspended, and so are players’ contracts.

“We have now e-mailed the Northern League and Durham FA for their support. We are doing all we can.”