Smith: More Clubs Could Go To The Wall As A Result Of Funding Package

Tamworth boss Gary Smith reckons increasing numbers of Non-League clubs could be heading for extinction as a result of the government’s new coronavirus tier system.

The new restrictions come into force this morning with Tamworth in the highest tier, meaning sporting events cannot go ahead with supporters.

A ‘Winter Survival Package’ was announced last month with clubs in Steps 3-6 set to pocket £14 million between them.

But it’s a solution that simply won’t work, says Smith.

“It’s killing clubs,” he said. “How are we expected to operate? You’ve got a financial package that isn’t a package to help you, it’s something you have to pay back.

“When you’ve got no revenue coming in how are you supposed to pay a loan back? It means every club that takes that loan are in more debt and the club is running at a loss. When is it going to stop?

“You can see what’s going to happen, some clubs will financially not be able to cope and they’ll go bust – it’s going to happen 100%.

“Most of the clubs at our level can’t function without support.

“It goes hand in hand with last season. Since the first lockdown nothing’s changed. Elite football is continuing, but we can’t. Then we’re allowed fans back but then we’re put into tiers and we’re not; it doesn’t make any sense.”

A meeting was held last night with all member clubs of the Southern League, with a vote on how and when the season might restart.

After last season was deemed ‘null and void’, Smith is hoping for the Lambs’ efforts up to this point won’t be wasted for a second time.

“I can’t say the thought of this season ending like the last hasn’t crossed my mind,” he said.

“You’re still looking and wondering if everything up to this point is all going to be in vain again.

“We can’t do anything, it’s the powers that be that have to deal with it, and they have to do the best they can to appease us all.”

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