Non-league postponement leaves many clubs fighting for their financial lives

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With Boris Johnson issuing another lockdown of the UK on Monday, it has left businesses and people scratching their heads about their futures. Non-elite sport has been hit hard throughout this pandemic.

This is especially true at steps three to six of the football pyramid who face the potential of their seasons being declared null and void and brought to an end.

Shifnal Town FC’s club president Pete Bradley explained: “That’s the likely outcome a null and void, I can’t see the season being completed”.

There have been some discussions relating to what could happen if the season does resume. Bradley gave his idea on how he would like the season to continue.

He said: “If the season was to be killed off, I would like it to start in August in these positions with games being played, and positions teams are in because you already have a portion of the season being completed”.

Another option could be played behind closed doors, which Eccleshall FC’s Secretary Jim Tunney insisted is impractical.

He said: “Quite honestly playing behind closed doors in our club’s view isn’t an option.

“If clubs were to run at a loss, it’s not viable, the idea of playing behind closed doors at our level is nonsense”.

The government’s statement on the funding for steps three to six clubs is as follows: “A formal announcement of the first phases of the confirmed funding is currently planned for the week commencing 18th January.”

According to Non-League expert Ollie Bayliss government backing is on its way. He said: “There is £14 million which has been earmarked for steps there to six and the idea was to help clubs who are struggling without fans or with limited fans while continuing playing.”

The start of 2021 has no doubt felt to some clubs like a hangover from the end of 2020. The question remains is will £14million be enough or could we see more clubs plunge deeper into financial collapse?

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