Start date for AFC Fylde season still unclear as National League seeks government support package
AFC Fylde remain unsure whether their season will start as scheduled next month after the National League stated it was in talks with the government and FA over a “critical financial support package”.
A large majority of National League North clubs do not wish the season to start behind closed doors unless such a package is in place.
This was stated in an open letter from the clubs to the National League, which was expected to decide whether to delay the start of the season in its three divisions at a board meeting yesterday.
The league season for National League North, which includes AFC Fylde, is due to start on Tuesday, October 6, though that was thrown into doubt by this week’s government announcement postponing all plans for spectators to return to sports stadiums.
A National League statement released last night said: “In recognition of the financial uncertainty facing its member clubs, the National League is actively engaged with government, with the assistance of the FA, to secure a critical financial support package and it is hoped this can be announced very soon.
“It is imperative the revenue shortfall caused by the pause to the safe return of spectators is responsibly addressed, so each club can operate sustainably over the forthcoming season.”
Fylde owner David Haythornthwaite, who has called for all clubs to be consulted before the National League makes its decision, was a prime mover behind Wednesday’s video conference of NL North clubs which resulted in the open letter released shortly before yesterdday's board meeting.
To further complicate matters, NL North clubs are due to start their season with FA Cup second qualifying round ties a week tomorrow, days before the league action begins.
In which case, clubs who have agreed to start paying players from the start of the season may be forced to do so even if the league campaign is delayed.
The draw for the second qualifying round is due to be made at 1pm today.