Following discussions internally over the last few days, we can confirm that we will not be participating in the fixture against Kidderminster Harriers tonight nor any further National League North fixtures until the result of the vote is known. At which time we will reassess our situation based on whether the season is curtailed or continued, and whether we can field a team without placing our club into situation whereby it is trading insolvent. Our concerns and reasoning are as follows;
* National League Resolution and financial – as it stands, we are still awaiting the result of the National League resolution which could run until Sunday 28th February 2021. During this period we find it completely irrational to expect all clubs to play their fixtures as normal, incurring extra expenses and putting their employees at unnecessary risk whilst the season could be curtailed at any moment. Having now taken legal advice and studied the league rules further, we cannot knowingly trade insolvently and the only alternative would be to take the Sports England loans via the Winter Support Package. As per quotes in Sunday’s Non-League Paper, the league themselves do not know whether taking such loans would be in breach of its own rules.
* Medical grounds – Several of our playing squad have expressed issues that their primary employers are not happy for them to carry on playing whilst not testing, and will not allow them to continue to attend their other work places and put their other employees at risk. We understand that lateral flow testing will be in place soon, but not soon enough to allow our players to carry on working in their other roles.
Rule 8.39 states “any club without just cause failing to fulfil an engagement to play a competition match on the appointed date shall for each offence be liable to expulsion from the competition and/or such other disciplinary action the board may determine”. For the reasons stated above, we believe we have just cause for not participating on the 16th February and in subsequent fixtures until the results of the vote are known and understood.