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So clubs have been asked for their opinions on 3 options. 

Clubs take on low interest loans with initial payment holidays. 

The league takes on the loans and dishes it out to clubs in grants. But then central league funding would be reduced (for next season I would have thought) 

Or Suspend the season.

I can see the 2nd option being the preferred option. It would certainly be my preferred choice. 

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Or we could address the elephant in the room - the FA is not a poor organisation. There is more than enough money in the game that each of the 66 clubs in the National league could each be given sever

Never mind all that.  We need 2 new full time (not loan) 20+ goal strikers, pay off the Manager if he succumbs to 2 consecutive defeats and some new pitch covers.

The Government gave out grants because clubs had no income coming in from spectators at the ground. That situation is still the case, and it is because the Government have instructed there can be no f

Not sure how some clubs will vote against loans and then pay excessive wages that take the club into debt. "We cant afford to pay back a loan as it will put the future of the club in jeopardy" next days headline "Club X pays big fee and wages for striker"

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I can't see how it would be fair if a club says no to wanting to take on a loan, be it collective, or even owed to the league, for them to then be saddled with a collective debt at a later date. 

The first two options don't help the clubs. The first one increases debt via interest payments which will in the long term hurt more clubs, the second is pretty much the league passing the buck back to the clubs next season by taking off them then. Instead of clubs not having the means to pay bills now, it will just be pushed on 12 months.

The League either need to fund the income gap loss for clubs going off the last full proper season or just stop the season now. The liability should be on them, not the member clubs since it is the league that keeps shifting the goal posts.

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I really don’t see how cancelling the season is some golden bullet

1) Any wages over £625 a week have to be paid by the clubs as are above furlough limit

2) Furlough expires as it stands in April - so that’s 2 months wages that need covering

Not saying loan is the right option, but it’s more complex than that.

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35 minutes ago, shaymandownsouff said:

I really don’t see how cancelling the season is some golden bullet

1) Any wages over £625 a week have to be paid by the clubs as are above furlough limit

2) Furlough expires as it stands in April - so that’s 2 months wages that need covering

Not saying loan is the right option, but it’s more complex than that.

Its 2 months they need covering for players on 1 year deals, there's also the wages of players on 2 year contracts plus management team ect. All these would need paying right through to August with no income. Would we have enough in the coffers to see us through to a new season? Unlikely without serious fundraising or DB covering it all.

I really cant see how its financially viable to cancel the season and along with it all income streams.

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47 minutes ago, greygoose said:

Its 2 months they need covering for players on 1 year deals, there's also the wages of players on 2 year contracts plus management team ect. All these would need paying right through to August with no income. Would we have enough in the coffers to see us through to a new season? Unlikely without serious fundraising or DB covering it all.

I really cant see how its financially viable to cancel the season and along with it all income streams.

Be interesting to see how bankrolled clubs cope, many of the sugar daddies will be feeling the pinch I

suspect.

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At first I am frustrated with the way in which the NL and DCMS have strung out the clubs with false promises. Yes, the initial £10m in grants was seen as a way to keep the clubs in the NL afloat while there were no crowds allowed in the grounds, as unlike the EFL clubs this is the primary income generator for clubs at this level. Admittedly, the way the money was distributed left something to be desired, but I would assume we did OK out of it.

This was in the form of grants and was to be looked at again after Xmas, as at the time it was rolled out everyone in the govt thought we would be back in grounds cheering on our teams. However, this proved to be wishful thinking. This left all of the teams in the same dilemma, 5 months of football still to go and no income. Now, you do not need to be a financial expert to work out that if you have 5 months of wages and overheads to pay and no income then it is going to be tough for most clubs in the NL to meet their financial commitments and stay in business. Apart from the bankrolled clubs.

So, the DCMS and NL think that the way to get through the crisis we now have is to borrow more, as the money being offered is a loan and not a grant. AS we all saw after the Banking crisis the last thing you would advise anyone to do with n income is to borrow more. The only caveat would be that if it was a loan then it should be more or less interest free and it should be offered as a drawdown loan, in other words you only took what you needed on an ongoing basis, similar to an overdraft, but which should be underwritten by the govt. This way it would afford some protection to clubs from being forced out of business if they were to struggle to repay the loans.

At the same time, to mitigate for those clubs who are bankrolled, the "loans" could only be used to pay overheads and wages. There should be a transfer embargo, including loans transfers, except in extreme cases were a team were to lose say 20% of their squad through injury or illness. This might prevent the "rich" clubs from taking out the loans on offer and using it to strengthen their squads, while other clubs would be trying just to keep in existence.

Asking clubs to add more debt to their balance sheets is not an answer, and to be honest if it was a choice of binning this season off and being able to start next season, or continue with no revenue and the risk of being out of business by August this year, then I would opt to shut up shop now and ride the storm out. 

Obviously, the only person who can decide what to do is Mr B. He will be perfectly aware of what the financial situation is and I trust him to take the sensible approach and not put the club in jeopardy. As was shown at the end of last season if it comes to it the supporters will rally round and do their bit, but this time it could be a bridge to far.

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18 minutes ago, ITMAN said:

At first I am frustrated with the way in which the NL and DCMS have strung out the clubs with false promises. Yes, the initial £10m in grants was seen as a way to keep the clubs in the NL afloat while there were no crowds allowed in the grounds, as unlike the EFL clubs this is the primary income generator for clubs at this level. Admittedly, the way the money was distributed left something to be desired, but I would assume we did OK out of it.

This was in the form of grants and was to be looked at again after Xmas, as at the time it was rolled out everyone in the govt thought we would be back in grounds cheering on our teams. However, this proved to be wishful thinking. This left all of the teams in the same dilemma, 5 months of football still to go and no income. Now, you do not need to be a financial expert to work out that if you have 5 months of wages and overheads to pay and no income then it is going to be tough for most clubs in the NL to meet their financial commitments and stay in business. Apart from the bankrolled clubs.

So, the DCMS and NL think that the way to get through the crisis we now have is to borrow more, as the money being offered is a loan and not a grant. AS we all saw after the Banking crisis the last thing you would advise anyone to do with n income is to borrow more. The only caveat would be that if it was a loan then it should be more or less interest free and it should be offered as a drawdown loan, in other words you only took what you needed on an ongoing basis, similar to an overdraft, but which should be underwritten by the govt. This way it would afford some protection to clubs from being forced out of business if they were to struggle to repay the loans.

At the same time, to mitigate for those clubs who are bankrolled, the "loans" could only be used to pay overheads and wages. There should be a transfer embargo, including loans transfers, except in extreme cases were a team were to lose say 20% of their squad through injury or illness. This might prevent the "rich" clubs from taking out the loans on offer and using it to strengthen their squads, while other clubs would be trying just to keep in existence.

Asking clubs to add more debt to their balance sheets is not an answer, and to be honest if it was a choice of binning this season off and being able to start next season, or continue with no revenue and the risk of being out of business by August this year, then I would opt to shut up shop now and ride the storm out. 

Obviously, the only person who can decide what to do is Mr B. He will be perfectly aware of what the financial situation is and I trust him to take the sensible approach and not put the club in jeopardy. As was shown at the end of last season if it comes to it the supporters will rally round and do their bit, but this time it could be a bridge to far.

Problem is as someone rightly mentioned above. The furlough scheme that we would put players on won't be for their whole wage nor will it be till July when players contracts are up. So there is 2 or 3 months worth of wages that will be going out for nothing essentially.  So we'd still have player wages to pay plus the sponsorship funds. And the streaming money.

There are a lot of things on both sides of the argument to consider. It's difficult to see which way this is going to go. 

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37 minutes ago, ITMAN said:

Admittedly, the way the money was distributed left something to be desired, but I would assume we did OK out of it.

 

Farsley Chief Exec was on Radio Leeds sports programme on Tuesday. He stated North and South teams received £30-£36k each and Premier teams £84-£92k. First time I've heard these figures mentioned.

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2 minutes ago, kit said:

Farsley Chief Exec was on Radio Leeds sports programme on Tuesday. He stated North and South teams received £30-£36k each and Premier teams £84-£92k. First time I've heard these figures mentioned.

Kit, based on the numbers bandied about earlier on we would have come into the £84k a month bracket. Which over the length of the deal would have been £255k.

Season tickets obviously were down so there was a hole in the usual budget from that. Streaming has not brought in sufficient to cover the gap between actual fans in the ground, so somewhere we must have a shortfall.

Is it wise to take out loans to complete a season which will be an overall loss, especially as we have no Cup revenue to offset the losses?

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10 hours ago, kit said:

Farsley Chief Exec was on Radio Leeds sports programme on Tuesday. He stated North and South teams received £30-£36k each and Premier teams £84-£92k. First time I've heard these figures mentioned.

Surprised that you haven’t seen that before. They were fairly well publicised at the time. A handful of well supported teams in our league got £92k. The rest, including us, got £84k. Similar arrangement in N&S with a few getting £36k and most getting £30k (all are per month for 3 months).

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The Government gave out grants because clubs had no income coming in from spectators at the ground. That situation is still the case, and it is because the Government have instructed there can be no fans. So I believe the Government should still be providing grants, that is only fair.

If they didn't like the idea of Central Government paying money to allow football to be played, they shouldn't have started that money in the first place . For the Government to try changing horses in mid stream now is wrong.

I believe the National League should be asking each club for a breakdown of all their wages, for all staff. That would enable a precise figure to be calculated as to what the cost would be if all those employees were to be furloughed now. Tot it all up, and go back to the Government with those figures and try to effect a change of heart. As has been said, if the Gov has to pay furlough money instead of grants, they may not be saving any money. If the worst came to the worst, why not a mixed system, with continuing, but smaller level of grants, with the option of a smaller individual loan if a club really needs one?

I do believe that unless lockdown is ending and the economy fully opening up again by the start of April, Sunak will have little option but to extend the furlough scheme for another month or two.

A very creative idea, though some people will hate this, would be to ask the players to take a pay cut to the end of the season, to save the clubs some money. Furlough will only pay 80% of a player's wage, so the clubs could offer them say 85% to carry on playing. A win/win for both clubs and players. Just a thought.

By the way, if the Government really wants to address the appalling financial inequality we see in football these days, with the obscene level of wages and transfer fees at the top level, they could start by levying a new tax on transfer fees, such money then to be shared throughout the game. This would be a way of forcing the really rich Premier League clubs to stump up some money to redistribute through the Leagues.

 

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3 hours ago, oldskir said:

The Government gave out grants because clubs had no income coming in from spectators at the ground. That situation is still the case, and it is because the Government have instructed there can be no fans. So I believe the Government should still be providing grants, that is only fair.

If they didn't like the idea of Central Government paying money to allow football to be played, they shouldn't have started that money in the first place . For the Government to try changing horses in mid stream now is wrong.

I believe the National League should be asking each club for a breakdown of all their wages, for all staff. That would enable a precise figure to be calculated as to what the cost would be if all those employees were to be furloughed now. Tot it all up, and go back to the Government with those figures and try to effect a change of heart. As has been said, if the Gov has to pay furlough money instead of grants, they may not be saving any money. If the worst came to the worst, why not a mixed system, with continuing, but smaller level of grants, with the option of a smaller individual loan if a club really needs one?

I do believe that unless lockdown is ending and the economy fully opening up again by the start of April, Sunak will have little option but to extend the furlough scheme for another month or two.

A very creative idea, though some people will hate this, would be to ask the players to take a pay cut to the end of the season, to save the clubs some money. Furlough will only pay 80% of a player's wage, so the clubs could offer them say 85% to carry on playing. A win/win for both clubs and players. Just a thought.

By the way, if the Government really wants to address the appalling financial inequality we see in football these days, with the obscene level of wages and transfer fees at the top level, they could start by levying a new tax on transfer fees, such money then to be shared throughout the game. This would be a way of forcing the really rich Premier League clubs to stump up some money to redistribute through the Leagues.

 

Alternatively, they could reintroduce something along the Football Pools levy, which I would imagine brings in diddly squat if it still in operation, and apply it to online football betting. The money raised could go into a pool to be shared out amongst the non-league clubs to compensate for the fact we are effectively locked out from the TV contract money. If the Chancellor could claw back the cost of grants then it would be cost neutral for the taxpayer. 

It's not a new idea but one which should be put back on the table considering the huge amounts of profits the betting companies make from football. This is a link to an old article, I think 2019, but the figures are worth taking a look at.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-7716153/TAX-BOOKIES-Big-five-sports-push-new-government-betting-crackdown.html

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47 minutes ago, Flea said:

Or we could address the elephant in the room - the FA is not a poor organisation. There is more than enough money in the game that each of the 66 clubs in the National league could each be given several million (Note this is not needed) and it wouldn't put a dint into the coffers. 

There is no reason what so ever why the FA and those in charge could not feed 10/15 million into the pyramid to keep both the integrity of the competition, and the livelihood of so many people going. 

When fossils like Gordon Taylor are pocketing several millions for doing effectively sod all it is nothing more than criminal that clubs are even having to debate ending the season, or taking on risky debt due to a pandemic. The government shouldn't be the ones who are the first to call in helping the clubs. 

Thank goodness Gordon Taylor has at long last retired, he has milked the system for long enough well into his 80's. He will probably be joining Steve out in Lanzarote, if he could get a flight...

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