York City’s season hangs in the balance as the National League holds a meeting to decide whether to continue this year’s campaign.
The future of this season’s National League, National League North and South is set to be discussed by clubs at a meeting today (Wednesday).
They are ‘aggrieved and frustrated’ by the government choosing to make any future funding in the form of loans rather than grants.
Clubs received £10 million in government funding to allow the season to start back in October, but that has now run out and with little prospect of income being generated by supporters returning to the ground it may not be viable for the campaign to continue.
Dagenham managing director Steve Thompson, who sits on the National League board, says a vote to end the season is unlikely to take place today, but that a decision should be made by the end of the month.
He said they have asked the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to reconsider, and are waiting to hear back.
“We’ll know within the next couple of weeks. The decision would have to be made before the end of January.
“I can’t see how clubs can commit to wages after the end of January. The frustrating thing is that if the season was to end, we would end up putting all of our players and staff on furlough and it would cost more money in furlough money than we would get in a grant.
“That doesn’t make sense, we would be better off playing.”
‘I want the season to be played’
Thompson says clubs made the decision to restart the season in October under the premise that grants would remain available in the event that supporters were not allowed back in and that the goalposts have since changed.
“I think clubs quite rightly feel aggrieved,” he said.
“You can understand the feeling of frustration among many of the clubs. I wouldn’t like to call this one way or the other because I just don’t know.”
York City, who are about to make their debut in the new LNER Community Stadium, want to play on.
Chairman Jason McGill said: “What is going to happen I really can’t say.
“I don’t want the season to be curtailed I want the season to be played, we have started the season, we have signed players and that budget didn’t account for any supporters through the gate.
“I think there will be some football clubs struggling.
“Every club has to vote for themselves. Primarily clubs have got to keep going and can’t go into administration or liquidation which could be the outcome on the continuation of football without crowds.
“York City are not in that position but other clubs are and they have got to protect their own interests.”