“Clubs will go to the wall” – claims Kidsgrove vice-chairman

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PICTURE CREDIT: KIDSGROVE ATHLETIC

Non-elite clubs have had their season suspended following lockdown announcement in November.

KIDSGROVE Athletic vice-chairman Ian Cooper believes some non-league clubs will “go to the wall” following the latest national lockdown restrictions.

All fixtures and training have been suspended for non-elite clubs in England which means Kidsgrove’s promising season has been brought to a halt, until early December when restrictions are set to be lifted.

Whilst Cooper confirmed that the Grove will survive the four-week lockdown period, he believes other clubs may struggle given the financial hardships they will have to endure.

Cooper said: “We were on a good run and had a couple of players come back from injury, we wanted to keep the momentum going and we had three home games in November which would have been massive as we’ve only had one Saturday home game since the start of the season.

“It does massively impact on your income, but people’s health is more important and we’re a well-run club so we’ll survive, we’re very financially stable, but there will be clubs throughout the country that go to the wall, no doubt about it.”

The Northern Premier League Division One South East side are committed to helping the local community during the lockdown period with Cooper stressing the need to maintain people’s mental health following the suspension of the season.

“The amount of our fans that I spoke to during the first lockdown, just sending them a message on Twitter or giving them a call, it was a big sigh of relief getting back to football.

“For us who do it, you’re stuck in the house during lockdown, coming to the football just to have the banter with volunteers, the players and the supporters, the impact is massive.

“We’ve done quite a bit during lockdown, we sent some food, we did the gardens and we’ve tried to interact more with the community, every Monday we have 40 to 50 people at bingo, there just residents from the Kidsgrove area.

“It’s just great to be able to get out and have a chat, we’re not trying to capitalise on the situation, we’ve actually dropped our prices so people can afford it and be a bit more community friendly and help the area.”

Kidsgrove currently sit fourth in the table, three points off the lead with a game in hand, and Cooper insists the club will be ready to compete again when the season resumes with the safety of their supporter’s paramount.

“We’ll stay in touch with our supporters as much as we can, we’ve got plans to hit the ground running and we’re looking to make the stadium even safer, so they all feel safe when they come back.”

The club would also like to thank all supporters and sponsors who have supported the club during lockdown.

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