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Weymouth chairman expresses concern in plea for greater financial protection of non league clubs

Weymouth chairman Paul Maitland expresses concern in his plea for greater financial protection of non league clubs as this tough time.

While he wasn’t taking aim at the Premier League, instead Paul aimed his concerns towards ‘football’s top brass’, urging them  do more to help those further down the English football pyramid.

He’s already received widespread praise this season as on Saturday the 2nd of March, Weymouth hosted Torquay, who announced on the 22nd of February that they are set to go into administration.

Paul Maitland made the decision to donate £5 of every £16 adult away ticket to Torquay’s cause, keeping in mind the Terras having their own struggles back in 2009, coming came close to going into administration, with debts of around £900,000, and even in 2022 they faced the prospect of going out of business.

He also speaks on how we’ve seen the likes of Nuneaton fold, and many other clubs sadly on the brink…

He told Dorset Echo: “If you think about it, where do your Premier League clubs get their next set of homegrown players from that they have to have in their squads, or that they want to bring through their academy systems?

“They get them from grassroots football.

“If you don’t have a Weymouth, a Dorchester, a Portland or a Bridport where do those kids go and play football?

“They’re not all good enough to go straight into a Football League or Premier League academy, but some of them are further down.

“So, if you lose clubs, you actually lose the basis of how we produce players for this country.

“Eventually, that will have a knock-on effect at the very top level in terms of internationally.

“You can’t just keep bringing players from Europe or worldwide, otherwise our national team will suffer. So, there’s a much bigger picture that you have to try and protect the very bottom to support the very top.

“I’m not suggesting the Premier League are responsible for funding the clubs at the bottom. Why should they?

“They’ve got their own businesses to run and support, so they do what they have to do and you have to respect that.

“There needs to be some kind of way of trying to protect the bottom of the pyramid.

“I don’t know what the answers are but maybe there’s a bigger picture we’re all missing sometimes.

“You look at the Prem and the millions of pounds they’re overspending, points deductions, you just think: ‘How’s that being allowed to happen?

“The challenge of running a business like a non league football club is trying to increase revenue without going and relying on that sole person or group to fund you.

“There generally comes a point that that person either has had enough and steps away or, in a lot of cases, runs out of money.

“Football’s a strange business. You accept the fact that you’re not going to make any money, or very little, which goes against the whole concept of business. That’s the way it rolls.

“The next few years ahead, especially with the country in the position we’re in at the moment, it is a tough financial climate, it will be interesting to see in five years if all of these non league clubs are still operating, or at the levels they’re at at the moment.

“You see phoenix clubs. Nuneaton went this season for slightly different reasons. Will they get back?”


Torquay United would like to provide our supporters with an update regarding funds raised by Weymouth FC during our recent away game in Dorset.

Following the kind decision of Weymouth FC to donate £5 from every away ticket sold at the Bob Lucas Stadium to the Torquay United Supporters Trust (TUST) in order to help fund TUFC employee wages, Torquay United can now confirm TUST have confirmed they have received a total of £2,705.29 from The Terras, which comprises of £2,370 from gate receipts, £253.93 from a bucket collection, and £81.36 from badge sales.

This is not only a significant donation, but also an extremely generous one from a club that not too long ago faced a similar battle for survival themselves. To all our friends at Weymouth FC, everyone at Plainmoor would like to extend its heartfelt thanks and appreciation for this kind gesture.

In addition to the £2,705.29 donated by Weymouth FC, the TUST have contributed £294.71 in order to round up the donation which has been paid by TUST to the club of £3,000. The Club would also like to thank TUST for adding to Weymouth’s total, and we can confirm that all the funds raised will be used solely to help the club fund its player and staff wages for the month of March.

The continued support of our supporters, sponsors, local community and the wider football family continues to surprise, and also strengthen our resolve, as we look to not only keep our beloved Football Club alive, but also set the foundations for a brighter and more sustainable future for TUFC.

We will be looking to provide our supporters with another update later this week, but for now, we would like to place on record our sincere gratitude to Weymouth FC for contributing towards our continued battle for survival.

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