National League coronavirus round-up: Harrogate Town worried about financial implications of National League suspension and AFC Fylde to consider legal action if relegated
The National League was initially suspended until at least April 3 but is expected to be for significantly longer.
A statement from the Football Association confirmed the suspension of all Premier League, EFL and Women’s Super League until at least April 30. While there was no mention of the National League – they are fully expected to follow the FA’s lead.
While the league season is put on hold, it’s just about survival for many non-league clubs.
Promotion chasing Harrogate Town were expecting a 3,000 crowd at home to Notts County for their FA Trophy semi-final this weekend but now have to go without that significant matchday revenue.
“It’s very worrying, but every single football club from Manchester City down to teams beneath us in the pyramid are in the same situation,” Harrogate managing director Garry Plant told the Harrogate Advertiser.
“Put the football to one side, Harrogate Town is a business and we’re dealing with the complete suspension of all of our revenue streams.
“As I say, we are very worried, just like everyone else, however we’ve never been in a situation like this before – nobody has – and it’s just a case of finding a way to get through it.”
At the other end of the table, AFC Fylde are currently sitting second bottom with nine matches left to play.
If the season were to end now, the Coasters could be relegated without another ball being kicked.
“Whether it’s Aston Villa or Bournemouth, for anyone that has a chance of escaping relegation to then be condemned – in our case with nine games to go – would be totally unreasonable,” Fylde chairman David Haythornthwaite told the Blackpool Gazette.
And when discussing potential legal action should Fylde be relegated due to a premature end to the season, he added: “We would definitely consider our position very strongly.”