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National League South club fight for survival as chairman speaks

National League South club Chelmsford City fight for survival as their chairman Steve Shore speaks out on how the coronavirus pandemic has affected them.

He has urged those at the top of the National League to “make a decision” on how to restart non league football so they can begin planning for the upcoming season.

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The Clarets haven’t played a match since mid March after the league confirmed the 2019/20 season was cancelled, results haven’t been expunged, promotion/relegation is yet to be decided but playoffs could still go ahead.

Majority of non league clubs depend on income from fans coming through the gates, which has left Chelmsford in a uncertain position.

All of their players rely on the government’s furlough scheme, and they are unable to buy and sell any of their squad, something that they would normally be doing this time of year.

Chairman Steve Shore gave thoughts as the National League South club fight for survival and move onto next season.

He said to Brad Gray of Essex Live: “It’s really hard to be economic and produce a business plan for something that is self-sustaining at our level.

“The furlough scheme certainly helped clubs get through to the end of the season; it certainly helps us.

“The more interesting thing now is when is the season going to start?

“Somebody needs to make a decision.

“There’s been a kickback about them wanting a concensus.

“Why? Make a decision. You’re paid to make a decision, stop pontificating about that.

“You’re the people paid to run this league – make a decision.

“I get very wound up about it; I work in business, I have to lead and I have to make decisions and that’s what you have to do.

“You don’t go: ‘Oh let’s all have a vote about what we’d like to do’, because you need to do what’s right as a whole, and this constant deferral on when we’re going to do things is not particular helpful to anybody.

“We normally start the season on the first weekend in August.

“The problem is you have to get everybody back to train. How are teams going to come together and train?

“It is a bit crazy.

“For other clubs it is really tight. Some of them are community-based who are reliant on the local fans.

“There are 68 clubs in the National League and the National League South and North, and a lot of people are saying: ‘Let’s hope there’s still 68 at the end of this.’

“Because it’s tough.”

The chairman has insisted that the club isn’t in any immediate worries regarding a collapse of the club, but admitted the deadly virus threatened the everyday running of the club.

He added that in the near future, it’s likely player’s wages will have to be lowered. Read the rest of the interview HERE.

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