Non-League Football Thread (Rolling)

Government are expected to announce £10m of funding for clubs at Steps 3-6 in the form of grants. Good news, although I’d want to read the small print before getting too excited.

New funding for clubs at Steps 1-2 will be in the form of long-term low-interest loans with grants considered for clubs on a case-by-case basis.

Not sure that’s going to stave off the rebellion at Step 2 to be perfectly honest.

Be interesting to see how that’s distributed - if divided evenly it’s still £11k for everyone which would be lifechanging for some at Step 6 and even for most Step 3 clubs it’s not insignificant - at least a couple of months of wages for a fully contracted squad.

Would pretty well cover our outgoings on contracted players and staff for the year.

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Yeah. I was thinking for the likes of us/Harrow it’d go a very long way. Even for a Truro, Scarborough or FCUM it’ll still be useful - and I’d imagine the way the grants will work it’ll be scaled so those sort of clubs do best out of it.

The National League are… well idk, words of an accurate level of disgust fail me. Their board, every team who cares more about their own promotion chances than the survival of their fellow Step 2 teams, and every slimy football twitter bro snarking about ‘its all about money is it’ under Ollie Bayliss’s tweets - they can all rot in hell as far as I’m concerned.

I am so angry and upset and disgusted that for the second February in a row we are facing ruin, and this time the league themselves are the ones pushing the knife in. How dare they destroy clubs like this

We’re in the same boat at King’s Lynn. So many of the clubs see themselves as Billy Big Bollocks and are prepared to veto a suspension of the league even if it means that other clubs go to the wall. We’ve only existed as a club for about 12 years having previously gone under… it’s grim.

If the NLN/NLS does keep going then I’d imagine we’ll be going back down as we don’t have the budget to survive on live-streams and the odd merch sale.

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The whole thing has been spectacularly and woefully mismanaged by the National League. That’s no great surprise given the farcical nature of things around the end of last season when it took weeks and weeks for them to make any sort of decision.

The handing out of funding has been at best opaque. There are now accusations flying around that clubs agreed to start the season on the basis that they’d been assured by the League that all Government funding would be available in the form of grants. The DCMS have stated that no such assurance was given to the League, that they had told them that funding would be in the form of loans. Someone, somewhere in a position of authority has lied. In a big way.

That clubs are voting based on what suits them best is no surprise.

If we had a governing body that was even halfway competent they would be stepping in as a matter of urgency and doing everything possible to safeguard the future of clubs, overriding the absolute shitshow at National League towers. It’s a disgrace that we don’t have that. If one single club goes to the wall as a result of this mismanagement, those at the top of the tree in the FA and National League should be put up against the wall of a select committee hearing and pelted with blunt objects.

Someone very well connected on a football WhatsApp group I’m on has said he wouldn’t be surprised if the National League itself failed to survive in its current guise. Clubs and supporters are beginning to lobby Vanarama to pull their sponsorship and he suspects there will be clubs resigning from the league en-masse if, of course, they’re still in existence.

This is steps 5 & 6 of the English game, not ‘elite’ football in the slightest. The National League and Conference before them have long had absurd delusions of grandeur. All that’s coming home to roost and it’s beyond disgusting that the survival of clubs are being caught in the crossfire.

I really hope common sense is finally seen and that no club goes to the wall.

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The pandemic’s really blown apart the pretence that the National League has ever had any interest in Step 6 beyond expanding its reach. They’ve not a clue about the reality of existence for the majority of their clubs and are only interested in the 15 or so clubs with pretentions of returning to the football league anytime soon.

I’m not keen on Ant Smith overall - he’s overreached as a chairman in the past - but Step 2 needs figures like him to speak out and lead, because it needs a couple of people to act first to blow the whole thing wife open.

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And here we have the National League releasing a statement they ought to have released before they started chucking charges about the place.

Elsewhere Maidstone - absurdly full time in the 6th tier of English football - have said that they are furloughing their entire first-team squad and will fulfil fixtures with non-contract players playing for nothing should the directive be that the season is to continue.

It’s damage limitation. I don’t believe there’s anything in the rule book that requires the league to charge clubs if they fail to fulfil a fixture.

4.3 All decisions of the Board shall be binding, subject to a right of appeal to The FA pursuant to Rule 16. Decisions of the Board must be notified, in writing, to all concerned within fourteen days of the making of such decision.
Upon becoming aware of any breaches of these Rules the Board shall write to the entity suspected of a breach formally charging the party giving at least 7 days’ notice of the time, date and venue of the meeting at which the charge shall be considered.

Any Club without just cause failing to fulfil an engagement to play a Competition match on the appointed date shall for each offence be liable to expulsion from the Competition and/ or such other disciplinary action the Board may determine, including the deduction of up to a maximum of three points from the offending Club’s record, any expenses incurred by their opponents, and a fine.

By charging the clubs the conference board have made clear that they consider there is a possibility of no “just cause” defence and there is a case to be answered. The same rule that allows them to bring charges also allows them to unilaterally make a binding decision - e.g. the pandemic gives clubs just cause to not play.

Jesus.

No great surprise tbh.

Steps 3-6 won’t be fair behind now.

Lord knows how the National League sort out promotion / relegation between Steps 1 and 2. Another 6 weeks of votes after the end of the Step 1 season, no doubt.

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If we can expunge Tuesday night from the records while we’re at it, that’d be ace, ta.

Ha. I’d imagine no promotion/relegation between steps 1/2 now.

Interesting dynamics with NLS voting to continue the season but it being curtailed anyway. Irony is it looks like tactical voting from those 12 clubs meant they voted for a different set of clubs to effectively determine their fate anyway.

I also wonder if anyone at Step 1’ll take the risk of cutting their budget to a minimum now the bottom half of the competition is likely irrelevant.

It looks like Whyteleafe are being being folded.

Manager left yesterday, and ground concerns.

Not good.

I saw the manager had gone the other day but didn’t realise things were quite this serious, I thought the worries about the ground had quietened themselves down.

Would be a crying shame if they were to fold (it is a crying shame if any club folds), have some massively good memories of my sole visit to Church Road.

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I’m not sure how true it is as it’s only rumour at the moment, but they’ve apparently served notice to the new landlords to end their lease of Church Road.

A number of players have also left the club this week, and also rumoured the club are going to be closed down.

I hope they’re able to survive in some form or other at the very least. Doesn’t sound like a positive set of circumstances.

Good piece on it here

They’re not often wide of the mark at 200% towers.

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Assuming this can be taken at face value from the club chairman then a rather more positive picture emerges @ynot

Let’s hope so!