TUST URGES ALL UNITED FANS TO HELP SAVE THE NATIONAL LEAGUE
To all members and supporters
I would just like to update you on the current situation, in terms of the government support being offered to the National League (NL) and its members at this time. The full details are all available on yesterday's TUST Bulletin for your information. We do believe this decision to offer clubs loans within the 'covid winter survival package' instead of the grant, made available to NL clubs in order to begin the season in October, might impact greatly on our club, TUFC, and most or all others in the NL.
Representing TUST, I held an hour long phone call meeting with Kevin Foster MP to discuss this issue yesterday. I was able to represent all of the views given to me by the TUST board, as well as the main ones I have heard from members, you the supporters, other NL clubs and the Football Supporters Association (FSA). Pleasingly, Kevin confirmed that he had also just received a letter from our club presenting their views and concerns.
The FSA, many NL clubs and your TUST board, strongly believe that although there have been varied opinions on the three options offered to their clubs by the NL this week, the government should be urged to reconsider their decision and revert to the grant strategy offered to NL clubs at the beginning. A letter to this effect has been written by the FSA to the government, addressed to Oliver Dowden, the secretary of state of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. TUST also sent a letter to him yesterday.
Many clubs only reluctantly agreed to start the season and commit to significant expenditure, on hearing that they would be receiving these grants to make up for the shortfall in revenue. At NL level, clubs still have full time/part time players' and employed staff's contracts to honour, as well as the running costs on matchdays, not to forget covid testing. They do not have an income from gate money or second spend (bar, refreshments etc.) and gaining sponsorship becomes more challenging, whilst TV income is limited. Furthermore, it has been calculated that suspending or curtailing the season and reverting to the furlough scheme for staff will cost the government more than the figure that will be needed to continue to be given as a monthly grant to NL clubs to function and in some cases maybe to survive.
Kevin Foster confirmed that, as our MP, he will support the view that the government should reconsider its decision not to continue the NL support grant, but to replace it with a loan with interest or with reduced future NL payments to clubs, thereby incurring further debt. Furthermore he agreed with us that TUFC and our fellow NL football clubs have important pivotal roles to play within our communities, in many ways, as does all of grass roots football. As such, they should be nurtured and supported nationally to continue and prosper.
He suggests, as we do, that all Yellow Army supporters around the country who wish to express their views , address letters or e-mails to their own local MPs. This will have more effect. This also applies if you live in the Newton Abbot or Totnes and District constituency as well as Penzance, London...or Carlisle!
I believe it was good news for us yesterday that the majority of NL Premier clubs have indicated they want to continue with the season. A few more matches at least to get under our belts after today’s valuable point at Notts County.
Keep safe and well, whilst you enjoy watching this excellent TUFC squad in action.