National League clubs to vote on outcome of season

National League clubs have been given 28 days to vote on the outcome of the season.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 10:56 am
The Boxing Day clash against Gateshead was the last home game played by Spartans. Picture: Bill Broadley

All 66 clubs in the league’s three divisions have been asked to consider options for the remainder of each of the division’s campaigns.

It comes after it was announced that £11m in government aid, to ease the financial effects of the pandemic, would come in the form of loans rather than grants.

Spartans, together with several other clubs in the National League, have issued a statement, saying: “Firstly, we wish to acknowledge the decisiveness in which the National League dealt with our concerns by supporting our request for the immediate suspension of our competitions on January 22.

“We have received a letter from Nigel Huddleston MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Sport, Tourism and Heritage) inviting us to a webinar, which will allow Sport England to set out the criteria for loans and grants (the latter of which is available only for those with no ability to repay loans).

“Loans are merely an extension to our life support and therefore foolhardy.

“We have yet to receive any assurances as to how we may mitigate against our inability to test our employees and volunteers for Covid-19, or against the government’s insistence that we trade whilst insolvent.

“With no apparent end in sight, this excruciating pandemic has us all facing financial imbalances of varying degrees.

" All of this is adding to additional stress and uncertainty that could and should have been avoidable.

“Having since been ordered to re-schedule our postponed games in accordance with the National League rules, we must now reiterate our stance.

“Without adequate and fair funding towards Covid-19 testing and to offset against the loss of income, we are unable to uphold the integrity of the football pyramid and insist that the season is curtailed no later than Friday, February 5, to allow all clubs to be assessed for grants.”

January ended with Spartans not playing a single game, for the first time in 58 years. The last occasion came in the in 1962/63 season when Spartans didn’t play from December 22 1962 to February 2 1963.