Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin has said that everyone at the club is ‘devastated’ that players and staff have had to be furloughed.

The National League South side announced their reluctant course of action ahead of this past weekend.

Hayrettin, whose assistant Terry Harris has had to be let go for the time being at least, told the club’s website:

“Simply failing to fulfil fixtures may not be a viable option should the clubs vote to continue the season and the league confirms it will sanction clubs who refuse to do so. As a result, we are now beginning the process of recruiting players who will play at no cost to the club, so that we can put out a team and avoid those fines.

“Everyone at the club is devastated that we have been forced to take this step. Those in decision-making positions at the National League and DCMS ought to take a long, hard look at themselves.

“We now have a situation where the cost to government has increased via furlough, and the sporting integrity of our league is now undoubtedly compromised. Some clubs have said they will be unable to fulfil fixtures at all, others will take similar steps to us, which will inevitably have an impact on the competitiveness of the sides that will be fielded.

“As manager of this club, I feel most for my players and staff, and of course, our fans. We have a great group of lads and I have an incredibly dedicated staff.

“I’m very sad to say that today’s announcement means that we are not able to retain Terry Harris at this time. Terry has been a crucial part of my team and I sincerely hope circumstances allow him to re-join us in due course.”

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