FANS' ZONE 02/04/2021
DEFIANT UNITED WILL FIGHT TO THE BITTER END AS NEW STRIKER IS TOLD GRAB A HATFUL AND ENJOY THE BEACHES DUDE
Football fans and the twenty-two other clubs have been asking for the past eight weeks just what are the National League board going to do about Dover’s refusal to play any matches since February.
Well, the answer came late on Friday afternoon last week when the adjudication of the independent panel revealed that the Kent side’s results - 15 games - would, as predicted, be expunged with United losing three points following their 2-0 win earlier in the season and, of course, Kyle Cameron having his two goals chalked off.
But that was not the full decision as with no relegation from the National League Dover will, much to the annoyance of many, be allowed to remain in the division for the 2021-22 campaign but with minus twelve points.
Compare this punishment with Luton Town back in 2008 who had 30 points deducted for matters involving player transfers and breaking rules on exiting administration.
But nothing beats rugby’s penalty of minus 105 points to Saracens for salary cap breaches.
In addition the panel fined Dover £40,000 explaining the club had “avoided costs” by not completing and were therefore “significantly benefitting” from the grant allocation given to them last October - £84,000 a month for the first three months of the season, a total of £252,000.
Dover’s chairman, Jim Parmenter, speaking over the weekend reckons his club’s “been hung out to dry” and is to take legal advice about an appeal. There are many who think they’re lucky to stay in the top division while there are others who believe they should pay back some of their grant money.
In total contrast Chesterfield have confirmed their request for a loan of just under £1m has been granted from Sports England.
Bromley, who sacked longstanding manager Neil Smith last week, have appointed Andy Woodman in his place. Yellow Army fans with good memories may recall Woodman had a brief spell at Exeter City but not helped by two red cards in six appearances!
With sixteen clubs in Step 2 charged with non-fulfilment of fixtures and fined accordingly, it’s not surprising to learn, that proposed by Maidstone Utd and Dorking Wanderers, the other 64 NL clubs are being asked to support an EGM to debate the resolution: ‘The meeting has no confidence in the Chairman and the Board’.
So there are more twists and turns of this saga to come.
‘We won’t be giving up on anything, we’ve got to keep going until the bitter end’, defiant words coming out of Plainmoor following a disappointing lone goal defeat in East London on Saturday.
And this after owner Clarke Osborne was reported to have sanctioned additional funding to the manager for a promotion push in the all important run-in, swiftly followed by the signing of exciting Sunderland prospect, striker Benji Kimpioka who was unlucky not to have scored on his debut, United taking advantage of the NL altering the transfer window; due to close on March 25 being extended to April 22.
Lots of Sunderland fans took to Twitter on Saturday praising Kimpioka and wishing him well with the best being, “Grab a hatful and enjoy the beaches dude.”
Dagenham, though, seem to have some spell over United. The last time Torquay scored against their National League rivals was in November 2016 with Kieffer Moore’s goal completing the double in that season.
Since then in the last six fixtures between the two sides United have failed to score, that’s over 540 minutes without a goal. A rather unwanted stat. The Gulls now go into the Easter fixtures knowing that every match is vital and that if they can’t catch Sutton - Tuesday April 13 is a big, big game - then finishing either second or third is really important for the play-offs to ensure a home tie playing against the winner of one of the sides that finish fourth to seventh.
This afternoon’s Good Friday fixture at home to Woking is hopefully the start of closing in on the top two with 39 points still to play for and with the added bonus of Danny Wright and Gary Warren back in the squad.
Before all National League games today there will be a minute’s silence to pay tribute to Yeovil Town’s captain, Lee Collins, who has passed away at age 32.
Ex-Gull watch: good luck to Joe Oastler who’s become head of coaching at Havant & Waterlooville’s Pro:Direct academy.
What’s your view on the management of the National League? Send your opinion to: firstname.lastname@example.org or to Twitter: @FanszoneT
Last week’s consensus is that fans should be allowed back into grounds regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated or not.
To all the Yellow Army, club directors, management and players a very Happy Easter and remember the rule of six - that’s six important points from Good Friday and Easter Monday!