FC United would like to update supporters that following discussions with Operations Manager Paul Smith and Football Manager Neil Reynolds and other clubs within our division, the board wrote to the Northern Premier League on Friday to advise that it did not support the decision to resume a full fixtures programme on 26th December and requested further consultation with clubs.
The club welcomes the league’s further announcement today that it will allow clubs the option to postpone fixtures on 26th December and 1st January, which brings our league back into line with the other Trident leagues, and can inform supporters that the club will be exercising the option to postpone these fixtures.
We would like to reassure supporters that this decision is not one we have taken lightly and the club remains committed to playing as soon as the conditions are right to do so. Playing with crowds of 300, which is 18% of our average gate from last season and with severe restrictions on food and beverage secondary spend is unviable without the government financial support offered to teams in the National League and we have no information that any grants are going to be offered. Our supporters have been magnificent in donating in excess of £100,000 to help the club through the pandemic, despite the hardships faced in their own private lives, and we are mindful that we have a responsibility not to gamble with those funds.
Football without fans is nothing and it has been tough excluding so many of our supporters from the ground this season due to capacity restrictions but with this now halved again to 300 we have reached the stage where only a fraction of supporters would be allowed into Broadhurst Park for home matches and government advice would see our supporters excluded from travelling to see the team away. Finally we have engaged in discussions with some of our fellow clubs who have warned that playing on under such restrictive measures risks placing them in financial peril and we feel that in the midst of a national crisis we should show solidarity with those clubs with the aim that all survive.
We would like to wish a Happy Christmas to all our supporters, players, coaches, staff and volunteers; especially those who may feel low this festive season after what has been a very tough year. Stay safe and see you all in 2021 when we hope we can get back to doing what we all love so much.
The FC United Board