A message to all Slough Town supporters and sponsors from the Board of Directors:
You will all have seen the content of the written resolutions put forward by the National League on Monday regarding the current season. It is important that clubs vote in a timely fashion on this, although some clubs may use delaying tactics. We have taken the view that the sooner everyone votes, the sooner we will have an outcome and have therefore voted this morning.
We voted in favour of resolutions 1, 3 and 4:
• Resolution 1: that the National League North and South clubs should have the ability to decide the fate of their own leagues
• Resolution 3 (assuming resolution 1 passes): that the National League North and South competitions shall immediately end and be declared null and void
• Resolution 4 (assuming resolution 1 does not pass): that the National League competitions shall immediately end on the date Resolution 3 is passed, and be declared null and void
Our reasons for wanting the season to be bought to an end are twofold.
Firstly, without gate receipts and other matchday revenue, we have no income. We, like many other clubs, only agreed to start the season based on grant funding being made available - initially for 3 months, but with assurances that this would continue. It is now clear that only loans will be available and they are not even guaranteed. The Directors do not wish to saddle the club now and into the future with debts that it may not be able to repay and will undoubtedly impact the club for years to come.
It is also impossible at this stage to effectively budget for the future as we do not yet know when we may be able to welcome back a normal-sized crowd. We are already eating into our limited cash reserves and, with no benefactor at the club, we are not willing to deplete this any further.
The National League suspended its competition two weeks ago to enable funding issues to be addressed. We are no further towards a solution, yet there is an expectation that we will resume playing on Saturday. We have taken the decision to advise The National League and Chelmsford City that we will not be fulfilling that, or any other fixture until the outcome of the voting is known. It is not realistic to expect clubs, whose income has already been dramatically reduced, to continue to fund the playing of games, which once the outcome is known, could be totally meaningless.
We have tonight added our support to a further joint statement with National League North and South clubs calling on The National League to acknowledge the difficult position clubs are in and allow clubs to ‘opt out’ of playing, whilst also not stopping those clubs who wish to press ahead.
Alongside the funding issue, we have been raising our concerns about the health and safety aspect of playing since mid-December. The safety of our players, staff and volunteers will always be the number one priority, and we continue to feel uneasy asking players to enter a dressing room without a proper testing regime in place. We await the outcome of a meeting earlier this week on this topic.
As a Board we were entrusted with the guardianship of the club when our former Chairman stepped down. We have no intention of jeopardising the long-term future of the club just to try and finish one season. Our players and managers have worked hard to get us to Step 2 and we would hate for that to have been in vain, but having a club for you all to come back to, whenever that may be, is far more important to us.
Image: Philip Benton
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