By John Lyons
Mystified chairman Ken Wright has scotched speculation that Chorley are contemplating voluntary relegation from the National League.
Several sources had suggested to The NLP that the part-time Magpies – who were cut adrift at the foot of the top-flight when the season came to an early halt – preferred to head back to National League North.
There was also talk that ground grading issues could be a factor for the Lancashire club, who went up via the play-offs last season.
But Wright has insisted the Non-League grapevine is wide of the mark and that his club want to continue to mix with the cream of the crop.
“I don’t know where that talk has come from,” he told The NLP. “It’s certainly not come from anybody in a senior position at the football club.
“If it’s ultimately decided that there will be promotion and relegation and we were to go down, we would have to accept that and get on with it.
“But if the season is declared null and void, we would like to stay at this level. We worked hard to get to that level again and we’ve enjoyed the experience.”
As for their Victory Park home, the Chorley part-owner insisted there was nothing to worry about. He said: “We have an issue with one part of our stadium which we had to close down and affected our covered accommodation.
“The reality is that there are some things that still need to be done, but haven’t been completed because of the lockdown. What we need to do can be done very quickly once we have access to labour, it’s as simple as that.”
Stalwart Wright had two spells as Chorley manager and led them to promotion to Non-League’s top tier in the late 1980s. He became chairman in 2003 and part-owner alongside Graham Watkinson three years ago.
“All our income streams have stopped, but we’re pursuing one or two different avenues,” explained the 76-year-old. “We can’t just sit back and think something magical is going to happen.
“We have no benefactors, myself and Graham aren’t wealthy people. But I’m proud to say in my time at the club since I’ve been chairman, we have always been able to pay our way. We have found it a struggle sometimes but we’ve achieved it.”
And while speculation abounds about what’s going to happen with football in this country, Wright is keen to get his priorities right.
“My personal feeling is that when people are dying left, right and centre, football doesn’t really matter,” he added. “We need to come through this coronavirus.
“As for football, in the long-term, it might be good for the game, with the wages that are being paid. It’s a reality check for ourselves irrespective of what league we are going to be playing in.
“We will be looking at our financial situation and income streams. How can we ask local businesses to sponsor this or that when they aren’t working and there’s no income? Companies will go bust.”
By John Lyons