Dagenham & Redbridge managing director Stephen Thompson MBE has spoken of the club’s dismay at the absence of grants for National League clubs to continue the season behind closed doors.

Thompson, who says he has written to five local MPs, said as part of a statement:

“Whilst no one ever thought we would be in January still faced with having to play BCD, this matter was considered by the authorities back in October/November, and when the final details of the package were concluded at a meeting between the DCMS, Football Association and the National League in November, it was clearly the expectation that in the event that supporters were still not allowed back come January, the support package of grants would be continued. It is inconceivable to consider that senior government figures and indeed government ministers felt that whilst grants were the only way that the 66 community clubs were going to be able to start the season, that if the situation were to continue, then they would be able just to borrow money to conclude their season – it is just not rational!

“The fact is that our clubs and our league are just not big enough to take on a multi-million-pound loan to enable them to carry on playing. Already most clubs are still relying on financial support from their members and directors, and to add to this burden is just impossible.”

He went on to add: “Perversely, it has been calculated that if our league is stopped and clubs place all their players and staff on furlough, the furlough payments will exceed the grant funding requested. How can that be economically sane?

“I know it is a crazy world but that is the economics of Alice in Wonderland.”

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