The future of the current National League season has been cast into fresh doubt, with clubs severely concerned over arrangements regarding agreed-upon grants to allow them to commence the season.
There has been intense and increased discussion from club officials, supporters and all connected to the game at this level so far this week, with clubs concerned over their latest government grants.
The added uncertainty and distress surrounds the issue of the grants now being put forward as loans instead.
The National League, National League North and National League South have been continuing their seasons of late, due to the much-maligned ‘elite’ classification of the game at these levels, while all below Step 2 have had their campaigns put on hold.
Among those expressing understandable concern is Southport director Ian Kyle, who said in a club update: “We were told that the season would begin on the basis that we would receive from the National League either grants or we would have fans in.
“We’re not getting fans in. We had the first three months’ worth of grant, which was fantastic, great, we needed that, but now there’s a massive shift of the goalposts.
“We are being told that the money is there, but despite the fact that we can’t have fans in, we can’t have it any more in a grant, it has to be taken as a loan. We don’t know the basis of the loan, we don’t know the terms of the loan.
“I believe there’s a meeting today. We’re being asked to make these decisions for the club – bearing in mind the next payroll is due in under two weeks – as to whether we continue by way of loan.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a complete breaking of a promise by the National League.”