Steve McKimm’s Tonbridge Angels are really feeling the pinch of football’s Covid crisis with the clubs’ vote to end National League season nearing a result
TONBRIDGE Angels say the club will find itself insolvent by the “end of the month” unless the National League funding row is resolved soonest.
The National League South side have voted to null and void the 2020-21 season to allow their players to be furloughed and free up much-needed funds to pay utility costs.
It’s now been confirmed that a £10m rescue package will only come in the form of loans and not grants, forcing desperate clubs to vote with their feet and decide the outcome of the season.
That result of that vote is due imminently but Angels say time is now very much of the essence.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Kent club said: “With no money coming in since December, and wages and overheads still to pay out, the club will find itself insolvent by the end of the month. The National League has been informed of this fact.
“The only clear direction would seem to be to bring the campaign to an end. This would allow players to be furloughed but even so, there would still be a challenge to meet overheads such as utilities etc.
“The only way suspension of the competition can happen would appear to be if enough clubs vote for that to occur, although that outcome is by no means certain. If the vote goes in favour of continuing the competition, then under league rules, we have to carry on playing.
“Some clubs have threatened to stop playing, indeed some didn’t fulfil fixtures last Saturday, but disgracefully, the National League warned clubs who refused to play that they would impose sanctions, despite the dire financial situation that they, the clubs, find themselves in.”
The club go on to add: “Should Tonbridge Angels engage with Sport England and seek a loan or grant? This has been sold by the National League as some kind of panacea to all the troubles in which its clubs find themselves – it isn’t.
“We have obtained the details, and basically, you can apply for a realistic sum of money to cover financial shortfall, but there is no guarantee of what you will actually receive, which makes budgeting impossible. Also, it is not clear whether the money will be in the form of a grant or a loan; it is likely that the majority of awards will be in the form of loans.”