The National League reveal whether they’re suspending or continuing the season, with many clubs’ managers and player venting out their anger at Friday’s decision.
Many of Saturday’s fixtures were played, which saw a boost in attendance, though some teams chose to call off their matches.
Well, as announced on Monday the 16th of March, the National League have suspended the season until further notice following the meeting and Government’s speech. Nearly 24 hours prior to Tuesday’s fixtures, some of which had also been postponed due to the coronavirus.
They said: “With the current coronavirus (COVID-19) reaching global pandemic levels it has to accept that the situation is now out of its own control.”
“The National League has decided that its competition is now suspended until at least 3rd April 2020.”
The Northern Premier League have also suspended all of their games until the 4th of April.
We believe the Midlands Football League is the one of those still going ahead.
Before today’s announcement, Hartlepool Unitd CEO revealed how much money the club could lose if the National League is suspended just like the Premier League and EFL.
He said: “We’re in a lucky position that we’ve got a chairman who will support us.
“I had a long meeting with him yesterday afternoon, the reality is that it would be a big hit financially and it would cost us about £25,000 per home game that gets called off which is a big chunk but we’ve still got to pay wages.
“It would be a big hit but we’ve had the conversation and he’s content to support us out of his own pocket in that regard.
“But there are clubs out there who might not be as fortunate and it would have a massive impact on them so it’s a huge concern.”
Writing on Twitter in a series of posts, Chester boss Anthony Johnson wrote: “It’s ok saying ‘play games behind closed doors’ but what happens to clubs whose main income stream are the paying supporters at a home game?!?
“Surely a contingency plan includes compensation for those clubs from the FA/government. Paying them what their average attendance is.
“Playing behind closed doors will finish clubs off it’s that simple. That’s not an over exaggeration, there’ll be zero cash flow at clubs who rely on the paying fan.
“They play behind closed doors, zero income from the paying fan. They postpone games, clubs still need to pay wages with no cash flow.Lose/Lose unfortunately.
“And of course the most important thing is saving lives and stopping the virus spreading.
However, when it’s contained and hopefully stopped football clubs (businesses) will disappear UNLESS there’s a contingency plan put in place.”
Furious Eastleigh manager Ben Strevens accused the National League bosses of greed, saying: “The reason National League games went ahead and the EFL games didn’t go ahead and the Premier League games didn’t go ahead is because whoever sits on the board of the National League cared about money. Simple as that.
“For the well-being of the spectators and it’s not only players because they’re young, fit athletes. It’s nothing to do with that.
“It’s the supporters who come here – and it’s not only the supporters, we’ve got a kitman who is an old boy.
“I looked around today and there’s stewards that are older. They’re the ones that are most at risk from this virus.
“There’s no way whatsoever these games should have been played.
“If the EFL are not playing them and if the Premier League are not playing them, then the National League shouldn’t be playing them.”
Fans gave their reaction as the National League reveal whether they’re suspending or continuing the season…
— William Bewsey (@WilliamBewsey) March 16, 2020
Took your time lads
— Reece (@BoroFCcentral) March 16, 2020
— Josh (@joshtidyy) March 16, 2020
You’ve got no credibility. Only cancelled because you’ve been pushed to
— Calvin (@Calvo98_) March 16, 2020
— T O M M Y (@PerfectPulisic_) March 16, 2020
— Danny Johnston (@_DannyJohnston) March 16, 2020
Time for the @FA to stand up, These non league clubs only keep going because of money through the turnstiles. This could Finish some off.
— James Beeton (@JamescfcBeeton2) March 16, 2020
Can someone let Woking know
— Parish (@danparish5) March 16, 2020
About time ya twats
— becky (@beckylowe96) March 16, 2020
It’s the right call. This could safe people’s life’s.
— Mon the Notts (@NottsCountyClub) March 16, 2020
— Tom (@TomGurneyyy) March 16, 2020
What took them so long
— Mark Hutton (@markhutton1973) March 16, 2020
What am I going to do now there isn’t any football??
— Ryan Staples (@RyanStaples1) March 16, 2020