05:05PM, Thursday 21 January 2021
Slough Town released a club statement yesterday, calling on the MP for Slough, Tan Dhesi, to lobby the Government to review its proposals for supporting National League teams while matches are played behind closed doors.
Clubs were informed by the league yesterday that loans would be the only source of Government funding available for them to complete the remainder of the season.
The league’s interim general manager Mark Ives presented clubs with three options on Wednesday - to access a long-term low interest loan, for the league to take on a loan and give grants to clubs – with future solidarity payments to clubs reduced, or suspend the season for a period, potentially restarting again when conditions are more favourable.
Confirming it was supporting option 3, it said the club was not prepared to put the long term financial viability of the club at risk by taking on loans, and said option 2 was merely 'a loan in disguise'.
The statement read: “We of course would rather be playing football, but without spectators it's not financially viable to continue and we are not prepared to put the hard work of recent years and the future of the club at risk to do so.
“By suspending the season for 6-8 weeks it gives the league time to pursue the funding matter further without the club incurring costs.”
The directors of the club responded to the National League last night (Wednesday) asking for a speedy decision to be taken by the board and for any suspension to be in place before Saturday.
It read: “By playing fixtures on Saturday, clubs will have to pay their players an additional week and in our case, incur the biggest travel cost of the season.
“As soon as the decision is made to suspend, we can move our players to furlough, thus avoiding further costs, If the decision is to suspend, it MUST be made immediately.
“As a club we will go as far as to say that we do not propose to travel to Eastbourne on Saturday to fulfil a fixture which could be meaningless, incur unnecessary costs and put our players at risk.
“We will have a separate discussion regarding Saturday with the Fixtures team and also with Eastbourne, but our position is clear. The issue can be avoided, by making your decision prior to the weekend.”
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