Statement From Vanarama National League North and South Clubs

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 this evening received a letter from Nigel Huddleston MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Sport, Tourism and Heritage) inviting us to a webinar tomorrow, 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, 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 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.

AFC Telford – Andy Pryce

Alfreton Town – Wayne Bradley

Bradford (Park Avenue) – Martin Knight

Antony Smith – Concord Rangers

Curzon Ashton – Wayne Salkeld

Neil Blackmore – Chippenham Town

Darlington – David Johnston

Dulwich & Hamlet – Ben Clasper

Farsley Celtic – Joshua Greaves

Gateshead – Neil Pinkerton

Guiseley – Gary Douglas

Hereford – Rob Crawford

Kettering Town – David Mahoney 

Slough Town – Kay Lathey

Southport – Ian Kyle

Spennymoor Town – Tony Wilson