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Slough Town urges league not to impose sanctions on clubs who won't play while season is in doubt

Slough Town’s board of directors has urged the league not to impose sanctions on clubs who feel they can’t commit to playing matches while the future of the campaign is up in the air.

The Rebels have informed the National League, and rivals Chelmsford City, they’re unwilling to play tomorrow’s (Saturday) game at Arbour Park, or any other league fixtures, until the outcome of this week’s vote on whether to continue or terminate the campaign is known.

Slough co-signed a statement with several other clubs in the North and South divisions this week saying it supported the resumption of the season – for those who wished to play and with ‘a fully-funded COVID testing regime in place. However, they feel clubs who don’t feel they can return to action due to financial and safety concerns should be able to ‘continue in suspense and do so without fear of sanctions’.

Clubs have been asked to vote on whether their respective campaigns should be cancelled and declared null and void or continued behind closed doors.

The statement from the 15 clubs read: “All undersigned clubs support the re-commencement of all viable fixtures until the results of the resolution are known, but only when both clubs participating in a fixture are in agreement and when there is a fully funded COVID testing regime in place, as both the National League and its member clubs have a duty of care for the safety of players and staff.

“Clubs who are unable to commit to fixtures should continue to have their season held in suspense by the league and do so without fear of sanctions.

“Furthermore, we have agreed to submit our votes on the resolutions to the National League as soon as reasonably practical and implore all clubs at Steps 1 and 2 to do likewise. Any delay or abstaining from voting would be damaging for the clubs in the most urgent situations. We must finish the season with all 66 clubs in existence.”

Slough returned their vote on Wednesday and have called for the season to be ended immediately and the results voided.

Explaining their reasoning to fans, the club’s board said: “Our reasons for wanting the season to be ended are twofold. Firstly, without gate receipts and other matchday revenue, we have no income. We, like many other clubs only agreed to start the season based on grant funding being made available – initially for three months, but with assurances that this would continue. It is now clear that only loans will be available, and they are not even guaranteed.

“The directors do not wish to saddle the club now and into the future with debts that it may not be able to repay and will undoubtedly impact the club for years to come. It is also impossible at this stage to effectively budget for the future as we do not yet know when we may be able to welcome back a normal-sized crowd. We are already eating into our limited cash reserves and, with no benefactor at the club, we are not willing to deplete this any further.”

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