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Non-league funding solution ‘unfair and unjustified’ say Chester FC

Chester FC have written to the National League to ask for clarification on how the financial support package announced yesterday was determined, following a deal between the league and the National Lottery to provide emergency funding to clubs.

The fan-owned club, who compete in the National League North, face missing out on tens of thousands of pounds of gate revenue over the coming months while fans are still prohibited from returning to grounds in the top two tiers of non-league.

While the aid package announced is “vital”, they say it will not cover the matchday revenue the club has lost from three months of behind closed doors matches. They are looking for clarification on how the figures were reached, and claim the lack of consultation and communication from the league has been “frustrating”.

In a statement on the club website, they said: “As a club we welcome this vital grant aid and wish to place on record our appreciation to the National League, the Football Association, Government and, in particular, The National Lottery. We recognise there are other clubs within the football pyramid and indeed other sectors who have had restrictions imposed upon them without financial support.

“However, our allocation is significantly lower than anticipated and will not cover the matchday revenue our club has lost from playing behind closed doors for three months.

“We will therefore be seeking clarification about the formula the National League has used to determine the monthly allocations, which in the opinion of our club has resulted in unfair and unjustified distributions across the three divisions.

“Clubs were asked to submit a financial questionnaire on 28 September to estimate lost revenue, but at no point have we been consulted about the formula that would be used to distribute this financial aid and the lack of communication from the National League on this matter has been frustrating.”

Chester, as one of five clubs with the highest average attendances in National League North and South, will receive £36,000 a month until the end of the year, while other teams will receive £30,000 a month.

The funding formula sees fan-owned Darlington, whose average crowd was almost 1,500, receive the same as Bradford Park Avenue whose average gate was 484.

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe