Darlington manager Alun Armstrong says he is astonished by talk of continuing the current season in a mini-league format.

Darlo’s National League North campaign was officially curtailed last month, though a number of sides are leading calls for clubs who wish to carry on to do so.




Armstrong said in an update to supporters: “The decision to null and void the season was very much the correct one as far as I’m concerned, even though we all want to play football and I’m sure we still would be if the grants were there. It would have been irresponsible of us to carry on playing for four months by using a loan instead of a grant, plus the issue of testing the players for Covid has never been resolved by the league, as I know teams still aren’t getting tested in the NL.

“We were going all over the north of England on a bus not knowing whether any of us had Covid or not, and whether we were taking it back to our families or not. It astonishes me that there is talk of a new league for two months.

“They seem to forget that we all want to carry on playing but circumstances have shown it is not possible, both financially and for safety reasons. There was a vote, and you can’t just spit your dummy out and try to form a new league of teams that can afford to carry on because they’ve got money behind them, or some of them got a windfall with the way the grants were distributed.

“If all clubs including ourselves were given twice or even three times as much as our normal income, then I’m pretty sure the season would still be going. Covid still won’t go away until everyone is vaccinated, and that’s assuming there are no variants.

“There is no grant funding, so clubs might have to borrow a lot of money. Halifax are borrowing £400,000 just to continue playing in the division above – what a burden that is to carry for a few years.”


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