BRIGHTLINGSEA Regent chairman Terry Doherty believes boss Kem Izzet was “turning the tide” at his club - and would not have deserved a relegation on his CV.

The R’s had been waiting with “bated breath” to see what happened in terms of the relegation picture.

With non-league football on hold because of the coronavirus, discussions were ongoing as to how to decide who goes up and down.

However, it was confirmed on Thursday that the non-league season from steps three to six has been terminated with immediate effect, with results set to be expunged and no promotion or relegation.

Brightlingsea were bottom of the BetVictor Isthmian League premier division and had been staring down the barrel at relegation, along with Merstham.

“Everyone had been waiting with bated breath to see what happened next,” said the R’s chairman.

“There were various scenarios and so many ramifications.

“With nine games left - nearly a quarter of a season - we’d obviously have been disappointed to be relegated.

“There were so many points left to play for and one win would have lifted us out of bottom three.

“The tide was turning.

“We were terrific in our last game and things were boding well.

“Our hearts were set on a good finish but this situation is a freak of nature and an act of god.

“We can’t control it and I feel for Kem.

“He came in at a difficult time. Then we had to cut the budget.

“We were due an upturn at just the right time and if we’d ended up being relegated, it would have gone down on his CV.

“He wouldn’t have deserved that.

“That said, we would have accepted whatever cards we’d been dealt and I feel for the guys who run the leagues.

“It was an impossible decision and whatever they’d decided, they were going to be criticised by someone.

“People are worrying about the situation but while people are dying, ill and struggling, it seems wrong to think about football too much.

“The bigger picture, and people’s health, is far more important.”

While the lack of football is an issue for clubs both on and off the pitch, in terms of finance, Doherty says Regent are on a sound footing and now only have two contracted players - skipper Matt Cripps and midfielder Jake Turner.

“Not so long ago we had three or four lads on contract,” he said.

“So in that respect, in terms of having to pay players, we’re not massively affected. Certainly not as much as other clubs.

“Everyone else here does it on a voluntary basis and gives up their time for free.

“Phil Calver and Gavin Aplin, our finance guys, have done an excellent job to get us on a sound footing this term.

“However, next season is going to very difficult for us and, like all sports organisations, money will be hard to come by during the recovery period.

“We’ll be hoping to keep our main sponsor, Taydal Surfacing LTD, and will be actively seeking new revenue streams to keep the club afloat and competitive.”