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Statement on National League funding options

The owners of Maidstone United have written to the National League with their views on the Government’s Winter Survival Package.

Following a league meeting yesterday, clubs were asked to provide views on three points:

1. The operation of a Club Loan process
2. The operation of a National League Loan
3. A suspension to The National League 2020/21 season

Below is what Terry Casey and Oliver Ash have sent to Interim National League General Manager Mark Ives…

We have noted the statements made by the National League regarding the alternative funding options available in principle. These currently have insufficient detail to enable an informed choice to be made.

Maidstone United would prefer to finish the season uninterrupted. This is of course subject in any event to the Covid virus and its future severity. We have been placed in the category of an ‘elite’ football club; we therefore have some responsibility to our supporters, business partners, staff and players to complete the season if it is at all possible.

Maidstone United are not in favour of applying direct to Sport England for a loan, which would leave our club with an outstanding debt in our annual accounts for many years to come. We have managed for years with virtually no external debt and we continue to favour this business practice.

We would, however, be prepared to accept the proposal of receiving a grant paid through the National League and acknowledge that as a result there might be less money available for distribution to clubs from the National League central fund over the forthcoming years.

We would not be prepared to accept a grant from the National League if the method of distribution to clubs was the same as was used for the three months of October, November and December 2020.

Any future grants must take into account the allocation deficit sustained by our club (and others) over the last three months due to the National League Board’s decisions. This deficit is specifically confirmed by the Independent Review Panel’s revised allocation table.

The way that the National League shared the £10 million, given so generously by Camelot, has proved to be grossly unfair and has brought a number of well-supported clubs into financial distress, as well as raising many so far unanswered questions regarding the governance of the National League.

On the clear understanding that the National League distributes the £11 million fund using the methods and recommendations of the Independent Review Panel then we at Maidstone United would in principle agree to continuing the season.