National League refuse to comment as Dulwich Hamlet take stance not to resume their season due to financial fears

The National League have declined to comment on Dulwich Hamlet refusing to resume their campaign unless adequate funding is in place.

The National League South season resumed at the weekend but the Champion Hill outfit issued a statement on Friday stating they would not fulfil their fixtures until the 128-year-old club’s future was not placed at risk.

Hamlet claim that clubs are being threatened with expulsion or a points deduction if they do not play, despite the fact that no grants are in place to cover the lack of supporters due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dover chairman Jim Parmenter resigned as a National League director on Sunday. He said: “I can no longer support the direction of travel that the board is taking and I’m afraid I can no longer be seen to be a party to actions which I absolutely disagree with.

“The lack of grant funding should have been properly addressed in late December, or at least very early January. As it stands it is likely to be two months with no funds for clubs before any sort of resolution is forthcoming.

“I am in particular disagreement that the executive appears to be encouraging clubs to take large loans to complete the season, as I have said twice at board meetings I believe that the competition rules are being broken by allowing the proposed loans, let alone encouraging them.

“The league has for 10 years insisted that clubs manage their financial affairs prudently and has had great success and received much praise for the results, now that is all to be thrown to the dogs and for what?

“I understand why the bigger, richer clubs with chances of promotion are pushing hard to continue, but in a sense they are asking smaller clubs with no crowds or income, who are playing for no reason, to take large loans and probably overstretch themselves with dire consequences, to subsidise the larger clubs ambitions. I do not agree with that position.

“The board has very little credibility as an organisation within our clubs and I believe the decision to send letters to clubs who find it difficult to play, threatening sanctions was ill-conceived and will do nothing to unite the competition in what continues to be a very divisive time. Even if the vote is to continue I do not believe that the league will be able to continue in any credible form or with integrity for another five months.

“There are some very good people on the board and I do not seek to criticise individuals, but as a body, I do not believe we have shown strong, relevant leadership. Our governance has descended into chaos and some decisions made by the board seem to change when interpreted by the executive.”

Gavin Rose’s side were due to be in action on Tuesday at third-placed St Albans City.

The Saints issued a statement on Tuesday. “We first requested the usual fixture documentation from DHFC last Thursday and more recently communicated with the Vanarama National League for clarity.

“Our pitch is in great shape and the Saints first team had been briefed, prepared and were told to report to Clarence Park this evening, as usual.

“We did not receive confirmation that the game is called off until lunchtime today.

“It is this club’s intention to honour all of our league fixtures, pending the outcome of the National League board’s request for clubs to vote on the conclusion of the 2020-21 season.”


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