Following the meeting earlier this week with National League clubs to discuss the ‘Government’s Winter Survival Package’, the club would like to update fans as to it’s position.
While discussions are ongoing with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), clubs were asked to provide views on three points:
1. The operation of a Club Loan process, whereby clubs apply to Sport England on an individual basis
2. The operation of a National League Loan from Sport England, to be distributed to clubs as grants and impacting future central distributions
3. A suspension to The National League 2020/21 season.
The club would like to make it clear that it is it’s preference and belief that funding should be made available as grants rather than loans, as discussed at the outset of the season. We have discussed the current position of funding now being made available as loans rather than grants with Mike Hill, MP for Hartlepool, who has agreed to continue to lobby the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to reconsider this option.
Given the three options outlined by the National League, we can confirm to fans that we have advised that in the absence of funding being made available as grants, we would be in support of option 2 – continuing the season under the operation of a National League loan distributed to clubs, but contingent on a number of details being confirmed and deemed satisfactory.
Chairman Raj Singh commented ‘I thought it important to outline the club’s position to fans with regards to this important decision. Continuing the season is our primary concern, but it is important that it is also done so on the right terms. I would like to thank Mike Hill MP for his continued support on this matter.
I would also like to put on record again my thanks to our season ticket holders who have continued to support the club through this challenging time. We will be announcing a ‘thankyou’ package to season ticket holders early next week to cover the season to date so far – and once we know how the season will progress, then we will revisit this again at that point and hopefully be able to do more to show our continued thanks for their commitment.’