‘We won’t play for another 28 days’ – National League club owner ahead of vote to potentially curtail the 2020/21 season

The owner of one National League club insists his team will not be playing any league matches while the voting process to determine the future of the season takes place.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 8:46 am
Hawks in National League South action against Eastbourne Borough last month. Clubs are now voting this week on whether to curtail the season or carry on once a two-week suspension expires this Friday. Picture: Neil Marshall

Last night, the National League confirmed clubs in all three divisions - the National League, North and South - would vote on what becomes of the campaign with 28 days being given for the votes to be returned.

In simple terms, clubs must first vote on whether or not they should group Step 1 (the National League) with Step 2 (North and South) in a single vote or decide each step’s fate separately.

Clubs are then asked whether or not to continue playing or stop with the season then being declared null and void.

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If, as expected will be the case, the vote is decided separately then more than 50 per cent of clubs in South, including Hawks, and North would need to agree for the season to be ended early for the second year in a row.

The voting process has come about due to a number of clubs being concerned over a lack of funding to keep the season going.

Clubs had been expecting a fresh round of grants, similar to what they had in the first three months but it has now emerged that only loans would be offered.

The North and South divisions had previously been suspended for two weeks with that period due to expire on Friday this week.

The National League gave no indication of whether matches in Step 2 should resume this weekend.

Kettering Town owner Ritchie Jeune believes the voting process will take the full 28 days due to National League club Wrexham already confirming they will abstain from the vote. That is because they are exempt from any Sport England funding due to their location in north Wales.

Jeune took to social media early this morning to insist his club would not be playing with zero income now available with matches still being played behind closed doors.

Jeune wrote on Twitter: ‘28 days to respond. @Wrexham_AFC (Wrexham) abstaining it will run the 28 days.

“No loans or grants will have been agreed. Again, the league expect clubs to trade insolvent playing matches. @TheVanaramaNL (the National League) still do not understand or trying to create a Mexican stand off and intimidate clubs.

“You will not see @KTFCOfficial (Kettering) play a league match for the next 28 days.

“The league are there along with the @FA (Football Association) to represent all the member clubs not just the ones that agree with their views.’