National League set to make £17 million plea to the Football Association to help support non-league clubs through coronavirus pandemic

The National League are set to meet with the FA this week and request a £17 million support package to help keep its clubs afloat.

Thursday, 19th March 2020, 9:14 am
Updated Thursday, 19th March 2020, 12:17 pm
Solihull Moors' Damson Park (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

A lack of matchday revenue for the foreseeable future is set to have serious financial implications on clubs across the country.

Hartlepool United chief executive Mark Maguire admitted ‘there is a fear’ that many clubs could go under in the coming months.

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“I spent a lot of time talking to [the National League] and they’re spending a lot of time talking to the FA and government about how they might address that fear,” Maguire said.

“Whether the government can provide short term loans to cover the cash flow of matches that have been cancelled. It’s legitimate for clubs to say I’ve had four matches and would have made this amount of money, it’s not legitimate for the government to cover all of the losses.”

Pools are set to suffer losses of around £25,000 for every suspended home match and many other clubs are in a similar if not worse situation.

And with contracts set to expire in May as well as staff and bills to pay, clubs need urgent help through this uncertain period.

National League chief executive Michael Tattersall will be requesting a £17 million financial package to cover the inevitable forced losses of all 68 of its member clubs in the National League and National League North/South.

“The airline industry has gone down 75 per cent, which is very, very unfortunate for them,” Tattersall told The Athletic.

“We are down 100 per cent. We haven’t got any matches. Our income is almost down to zero for the time being. But we’ve got a lot of employees to look after.

“If we’re going to look after people, we need an intervention.

“We need to try to establish football, or at least non-League football, as one of the industries, the sectors, that the government regards as being an acute case.”