Darlington have confirmed they will not be fulfilling tomorrow evening’s fixture with Boston United.
National League North Darlo are among the clubs to have publicly stated their deep concern over taking on debt to continue playing matches without spectators, and with no further grant funding forthcoming.
The club have said today as part of a statement: “This club has endured three harmful administrations, and since the fans took over the ownership of the club in 2012, we have worked very hard to make the club sustainable through many fundraising campaigns. We have learned the lessons of the mistakes of past owners, which makes us very determined not to over-burden the club with debt from a loan – no matter what the terms and repayment period are — and wipe out all the hard work of the last nine years for the sake of four months.
“It would be unreasonable to require us to get into debt to carry on playing when we relied on the representations by the National League regarding funding and compensation whilst playing behind closed doors. We are determined that we shall not trade while insolvent – indeed to do so knowingly is illegal.
“We estimate that we have lost approximately £50,000 in January, and probably another £50,000 in February. We therefore believe that we have just cause (under league rule 8.39) in not playing the game on Tuesday.”
The statement goes on to add: “In these circumstances, we believe that we have been misled by the National League, and therefore an objective independent person would consider it wholly unreasonable to require us to play matches until there is resolution to the financial and safety issues that have been known by the National League for many weeks. We are sure that our fellow clubs and supporters will understand and appreciate why we have taken this course of action.
“We will be reviewing our position on a game-by-game basis.”