A joint-statement has been put out by 16 clubs in the National League North and South over the current season.
With the subject of continued funding for clubs while supporters are unable to attend matches currently at the forefront, the viability of carrying on with the 2020/21 campaign is in undoubted question.
The statement reads: “Firstly, we wish to acknowledge the decisiveness in which the National League dealt with our concerns by supporting our request for the immediate suspension of our competitions on January 22. We have this evening (Thursday 28th January) received a letter from Nigel Huddleston MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Sport, Tourism and Heritage) inviting us to a webinar tomorrow, which will allow Sport England to set out the criteria for loans and grants (the latter of which is available only for those with no ability to repay loans).
“Loans are merely an extension to our life support and therefore foolhardy. We have yet to receive any assurances as to how we may mitigate against our inability to test our employees and volunteers for COVID, or against the government’s insistence that we trade whilst insolvent.
“With no apparent end in sight, this excruciating pandemic has us all facing financial imbalances of varying degrees. All of this is adding to additional stress and uncertainty that could and should have been avoidable.
“Having since been ordered to re-schedule our postponed games in accordance with the National League rules, we must now reiterate our stance. Without adequate and fair funding towards COVID testing and to offset against the loss of income, we are unable to uphold the integrity of the football pyramid, and insist that the season is curtailed no later than Friday, February 5, to allow all clubs to be assessed for grants.”
AFC Telford United – Andy Pryce
Alfreton Town – Wayne Bradley
Bradford (Park Avenue) – Martin Knight
Concord Rangers – Antony Smith
Curzon Ashton – Wayne Salkeld
Chippenham Town – Neil Blackmore
Darlington – David Johnston
Dulwich Hamlet – Ben Clasper
Farsley Celtic – Joshua Greaves
Gateshead – Neil Pinkerton
Guiseley – Gary Douglas
Hereford – Rob Crawford
Kettering Town – David Mahoney
Slough Town – Kay Lathey
Southport – Ian Kyle
Spennymoor Town – Tony Wilson