Nine clubs have revealed that they united in wanting the current National League chairman Brian Barwick to resign from his role.
A lengthy statement was issued by clubs on Friday the 13th of November, calling for a change over the distribution of bail-out cash.
Plans to allow spectators into grounds were put on hold because of rising coronavirus cases in the UK.
However, a financial support package from the Government to the 67 member clubs was agreed to help compensate for essential revenue lost, which allowed the current National League season to get under way on the 3rd of October with matches behind closed doors.
BARWICK MUST GO:
The Hamlet, along with 9 other clubs have released a statement, requesting the resignation of @TheVanaramaNL chairman, Brian Barwick.
— Dulwich Hamlet FC (@DulwichHamletFC) November 13, 2020
A financial support package from the Government was agreed to help compensate for lost revenue.
We welcome intervention by the DCMS, the FA and The National Lottery to compensate National League clubs for lost gate receipts due to fans being prevented from attending matches, indeed we are exceptionally thankful for the intention of this generosity. It remains a fact that it is on this basis that we agreed to start the 2020/21 season and thereby trigger contractual obligations. However, we were disappointed to learn two weeks ago that the National League had decided to allocate these funds based on a subjective judgement of clubs’ needs and not based on lost gate receipts.
Since then many of our clubs have been in continuous communication with the NL Chairman Brian Barwick, regarding how the distribution method was decided; why the National League Board rejected Government guidelines on using funding to compensate lost gate receipts; whether National League Board members have been allowed to take a decision that directly affects their own clubs financially, appearing to breach their own Articles of Association in so doing, and why we believe that an independent panel should now be appointed urgently, to review the whole matter.
Talks have now reached a stalemate and the aggrieved clubs’ spokesperson, Andrew Graham, Chairman of Hereford FC, states: “we are aware of the method for determining the allocation of funds to NL Clubs and are concerned that the outcome of this method does not represent the initial purpose of the funds, as stated by the Department for Culture Media & Sports. Given the absence of explanation and transparency regarding our concerns, and a refusal to date to correct what to us appear as unacceptable conflicts of interest at Board level, a growing number of clubs who have been adversely affected by this action, have lost confidence in the leadership of the National League and its decision-making mechanism.
Graham stated: “£10 million has been handed to the National League thus far. This is a significant amount of money for which we are extremely grateful. However, there has been unsatisfactory transparency over how funds were allocated and there are inexplicable inconsistencies, which amount to some clubs receiving five times as much in funding as others, per absent spectator. As a result, some of our clubs will now face income shortfalls, which may threaten their existence.
Despite rumours of matters being discussed at sub-committee level of the National League we have received no meaningful communication regarding our request for an independent panel review of the allocation. This is an indefensible continuation of apparent disregard for the justified concerns we raise and it is for these reasons that we are left with no option other than to immediately call for the National League Chairman Brian Barwick to resign and for an independent panel to be appointed to review this matter transparently and objectively.”
Graham added: “Clubs should now be focussing on how to continue providing football facilities and entertainment for their communities, backed up by generous Government financing. Instead some clubs are facing financial turmoil, due to what appears to be the National League Board’s serious errors of judgment in making unilateral, subjective decisions regarding distribution, which ignore Government guidelines and ignore the Board’s conflicts of interest. Our clubs cannot let this pass unchecked, as it has resulted in some clubs now facing serious financial difficulty.”
Andrew Graham, Hereford
For and on behalf of:
AFC Fylde, Telford, Chester, Dulwich Hamlet, Hereford, Kidderminster Harriers, Maidstone United, Dorking, Chesterfield
– STATEMENT ENDS –
Fans reacted after seeing that nine clubs want the current National League chairman to resign…
National League are going to kill off clubs with their disgraceful behaviour. Barwick must go, we need an independent, competent person/group to sort out the mess before it’s to late!
— James (@Sitdown_Jim) November 13, 2020
Sack him now
— Ronnie (@Ronnie89557758) November 13, 2020
Half of those clubs have had money problems before because of overspending and at least 2 are above their station. I mean Dorking ffs with crowds of 700. Fylde who were desperate to get into L2 by 2022. Notable that York, Notts, Stockport, Yeovil, Wrexham, Hartlepool aren’t there
— Julian (@wastedrockrange) November 13, 2020
Most clubs will be a bit scared to fly their colours openly I suspect. But be nice to see a few more be brave and add their name.
— James (@M0JJK) November 13, 2020
Why should they? Clubs would of budgeted based on last season’s gate takings this grant was meant to replicate that and is what they signed up for how is it right that a Stockport or Notts get the same as a Boreham Wood? It’s actually giving the smaller clubs an advantage
— Andrew Briggs (@chogger5) November 13, 2020
Are you being intentionally thick? The clubs only agreed to start season on the basis lost gate revenue would be covered. That hasn’t happened yet some clubs have been given 5x what they should be getting!!
— Lee Fisher (@Leefisher1971) November 13, 2020
Nope. Every club should have been allocated a figure that represented the amount of income lost. Had it been spread evenly then all clubs would’ve been fine. This has not happened and many clubs futures have been threatened. Simple as that. No greediness here.
— Banksy (@banks247) November 14, 2020
Agree how is it fair that it’s supposed to be in line with gate money yet a club like Boreham wood (no offence meant) with an average of 900 Odd are getting the same as clubs like Notts County and Stockport who are averaging 4-5k
— Andrew Briggs (@chogger5) November 13, 2020
We haven’t overspent the money does simply not cover gate money at all, how have boreham wood got more money than the likes of Maidstone or Hereford?
— archie (@JagsStones) November 13, 2020
We’re fully sustainable when fans are allowed, not our fault we’re much bigger than this level so therefore need more money to compensate for our losses ?
— George ? (@hufc_g) November 13, 2020