Twelve National League North clubs have called on the DCMS and The FA ‘not to betray the trust’ of clubs who agreed to commence the current season on the understanding that grants would be provided to replace essential lost revenue.
A joint-statement reads:
When National League clubs agreed in October to start the season playing behind closed doors, this decision was based on reassurances that grants would be provided to compensate for essential revenue lost from fans not returning on 1st October.
Had these assurances not been provided then many Clubs at our level may have taken the decision not to commence the season.
Matchday revenue from supporters attending games and its associated income streams are the lifeblood for our clubs. We are grateful to the Government, The FA, and the National Lottery for recognising this and the roles our clubs play in their communities. We thank them for the grant support we have received to date.
The initial package of £10m was to cover the first three months of the season with the clear understanding that grants would continue until it was safe for crowds to return. There was absolutely no mention of loans at that time.
We have all worked diligently to comply with elite sport protocols and ensure a prudent approach to financial management based upon the reassurances given in October.
We the undersigned clubs therefore call on the Secretary of State Oliver Dowden, the Department of Culture, Media & Sport and The FA not to betray the trust National League clubs placed in them by agreeing to commence the season and to ensure the additional £11m in support is in the form of grants not loans.
Alfreton Town – Wayne Bradley
Blyth Spartans – Anthony Platten
Brackley Town – Francis Oliver
Bradford (Park Avenue) – Martin Knight
Chester – Andrew Morris
Darlington – David Johnston
Farsley Celtic – Joshua Greaves
Gloucester City – Alex Petheram
Kettering Town – David Mahoney
Kidderminster Harriers – Neil Male
Southport – Ian Kyle
Spennymoor Town – Tony Wilson