Dover Athletic chairman Jim Parmenter hits out at National League and resigns from board of directors with stunning statement following funding crisis

Dover Athletic chairman Jim Parmenter has stepped down from his position on the board of the National League.

Sunday, 7th February 2021, 4:27 pm
Updated Sunday, 7th February 2021, 4:52 pm

Parmenter sent a letter to National League chairman Brian Barwick and members of the board confirming his resignation as he ‘can no longer support the direction of travel the board is taking’.

The Whites’ chairman opted to resign in order to disclose what he really thinks about in regard to the funding situation across the National League.

In the letter, Parmenter stated: “I can no longer support the direction of travel that the board is taking and I’m afraid I can no longer be seen to be a party to actions which I absolutely disagree with.

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Dover Athletic's Crabble Athletic Ground (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

“I accept that the board is a collective and whilst as a member, it is a prerequisite that, in public, the board and its Chairman are supported. I have therefore chosen to resign, in order to say what I really believe publicly.

“The lack of grant funding should have been properly addressed in late December or at least very early January. As it stands it is likely to be two months with no funds for clubs before any sort of resolution is forthcoming.”

National League clubs are currently voting to decide whether the 2020-21 season continues as planned or is curtailed and declared null and void.

Dover currently sit second bottom of the National League table and have publicly stated that they would not be willing to continue without grant funding in place.

Parmenter continued: “I am in particular disagreement that the executive appears to be encouraging clubs to take large loans to complete the season, as I have said twice at board meetings I believe that the competition rules are being broken by allowing the proposed loans, let alone encouraging them. (Page 155 Appendices 08 of the rule book).

“The league has for ten years insisted that clubs manage their financial affairs prudently and has had great success and received much praise for the results, now that is all to be thrown to the dogs and for what?

“I understand why the bigger, richer clubs with chances of promotion are pushing hard to continue, but in a sense they are asking smaller clubs with no crowds or income who are playing for no reason to take large loans and probably overstretch themselves with dire consequences, to subsidise the larger clubs ambitions. I do not agree with that position.

“The board has very little credibility as an organisation within our clubs and I believe the decision to send letters to clubs who find it difficult to play, threatening sanctions was ill-conceived and will do nothing to unite the competition in what continues to be a very divisive time. Even if the vote is to continue I do not believe that the league will be able to continue in any credible form or with integrity for another five months.

“There are some very good people on the board and I do not seek to criticise individuals, but as a body, I do not believe we have shown strong, relevant leadership. Our governance has descended into chaos and some decisions made by the board seem to change when interpreted by the executive.”

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