Update from Chief Executive Neil Male…
By Matty Paddock - 29/01/2021
Posted 10 months ago
Chief Executive Neil Male has provided the following update to supporters after attending a meeting with National League clubs, the DCMS and Sport England:
“First and foremost, I appreciate that supporters are keen for information and to know what is happening with regards to the season, but I have to make it very clear that I think it is important to only speak when you have something informative to say, and information to provide.
“On the matter of the continuation of the season and loans or grants, there simply has been insufficient information available on which to make any kind of statement – so to go on record at that point, as many other clubs have done in recent days, only further stirs those flames of uncertainty and misinformation rather than helping to bring clarity to the situation for all stakeholders.
“I’ve resisted making public comment on this matter until now with that point in mind, and was part of a meeting with the DCMS, Sport England and other National League clubs this morning, which I hoped would at least give Clubs the ability to make fully-informed decisions on the way ahead.
“While the DCMS and Sport England were able to provide some details to us, the most concerning factor was the process of applying for and obtaining a loan or grant, should clubs want to explore this option – is to take at least two to three weeks.
“In the interim however, Clubs will be asked next week by the National League to provide a ‘Vote’ on what they see as the future for this season. The primary issue with this is that it gives Clubs no time to fully examine the process and detail involved in loans or grants before then, or know whether or not any application is successful – and during this time we are still incurring significant costs to the business without that support in place.
“I would state on record that there has been a considered improvement in communication between the National League and Clubs following Mark Ives’ appointment and I thank him for that. However as yet, there is no clarity on what specifically our ‘voting’ options will be next week, or how those votes will be allocated. In short, with two thirds of the season still to play, we will be asked to effectively buy a house without seeing it first. As a Board and a Club, we find that very difficult to accept.”
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