National League clubs asked to back no confidence motion against league board and chairman Brian Barwick

The National League has come under fire once again and clubs are set to take action.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 4:45 pm

National League South clubs Maidstone United and Dorking Wanderers have proposed a no confidence motion against the league’s board and chairman Brian Barwick.

Member clubs have been asked to support an ‘extraordinary general meeting’ to debate a single resolution: “The meeting has no confidence in the chairman and the board.”

Clubs have until 12pm on Wednesday, March 31 to respond. In order to conform with National League rules, 10-per-cent of clubs must back the EGM in order to requisite a no confidence vote.

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The National League logo (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

This motion comes as a result of growing discontent towards the National League from its member clubs following the failure to secure grants for the remainder of the 2020-21 season and subsequent shut down of the National League North and South campaigns.

The sixth tier seasons have been declared null and void with no promotions or relegation. Meanwhile, the National League (fifth tier) plays on with the exception of Dover Athletic who decided to end their season early

This resulted in a £40,000 fine, a 12 point deduction for next season and all of Dover’s results for the current campaign being expunged. Several other clubs across the National League North and South were also fined and handed a suspended points deduction for failing to fulfil fixtures before their season was voided.

The letter, proposed by Maidstone and seconded by Dorking, lists 11 examples of the National League board’s ‘questionable governance’.

It includes the ‘sweeping fines and sanctions for clubs’ as a result of failing to complete fixtures as well as a lack of transparency and communication from the National League and its chairman during a time of crisis.

The letter read: “Football at our level is in a major crisis at present. Although the terrible Covid pandemic is at the origin of the problems, the management of the crisis by the National League Board has been inadequate from the beginning.

"It is now the subject of widespread anger and ridicule.

"Our National League clubs are professional businesses upon which thousands of staff and tens of thousands of supporters depend.

"We deserve better governance. Today it is very difficult to effect major changes due to the way the pyramid is structured and the way the Football Association and National League work together.

"So, while it is not the perfect solution, we feel that calling an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Football Conference Limited to have a debate on the past year’s management of the NL board is a necessary first step along the road to better governance at our levels of the pyramid structure.

"We are therefore proposing to call an EGM in order to hold a vote of no confidence in the chairman and the board.”

The letter continues: “If the motion is passed, it will oblige resignations and new elections will be held. A new era of governance will be possible and clubs’ voices will be heard.

"Any new chairperson will have to consider what the clubs want and to be transparent and accountable.

"It will not be the end of reform but the beginning.”

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