This week the National League invited all clubs to a special meeting to discuss the financial arrangements for the remainder of this season. The league summarised their discussions with the DCMS in which it had been confirmed that ongoing Government support would be in the form of loans and not grants.
The league discussed three options with the clubs
- Government loans, with an initial repayment holiday and fixed low interest rates over 10 years (or possibly longer)
- A central loan taken out by the league to fund grants to the clubs but offset against reduced central payments over the next few seasons, effectively an advance against future income
- A suspension of the season, with no confirmed date for resumption
After an emergency board meeting, we decided that from our perspective Option 2 would be the best of three unsatisfactory options. However, we would like clarity on the methodology and criteria used to distribute the grants flowing from this source in the interests of fairness, transparency and equitability across all member clubs.
Clearly the preferred option would be a continuation of grant funding, which was the basis on which clubs agreed to start the season in the absence of spectators. We believe that this would also be a more cost effective option for all parties, including Government, than suspending the league with furlough of all employees. We have also contacted our MP, Paul Scully, to seek his support in trying to get DCMS to reverse their position.
Tomorrow's match at home to Eastleigh definitely goes ahead and whatever happens after that we wish all of our supporters good health. Please stay safe,