I am supporting Dover Athletic in their ongoing row about the National League’s punishment of the club.
In February this year, Dover Athletic announced that the club would have to furlough all management, staff and players, reducing operations to a bare minimum. As a result, they were not able to finish the National League season. But the club has been punished by the National League with 12 points deducted and a fine of £40,000 for not playing.
It is simply unfair that Dover Athletic has been punished for not fielding a team during the Covid lockdown.
The Club could not put on matches safely or profitably. Grassroots football doesn’t have the big pockets of the Premier League or bigger clubs. The National League’s action to penalise the club is just not on.
I have written to the Sports Minister to ask him to make sure that smaller clubs like Dover Athletic are not punished with points deductions and unreasonable fines as a result of the pandemic. As well as to former Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch MP, who is conducting a review into governance of football for the Government, to ask her to look into the behaviour of the National League as part of her review.
Grassroots football clubs should be fully supported as the country unlocks and clubs gets back on their feet. Not punished with points deductions and fines.