Southport FC

The National League North and National League South have been suspended for two weeks – but Southport FC want to see the season cancelled now.

It means the games due to take place tomorrow have now been called off. 

The decision was taken at a National League board meeting earlier today (Friday) after a review of feedback from clubs.

Earlier this week, National League clubs including Southport FC were told that future funding for clubs for the rest of this season would only be issued as loans and that grants would only be handed out in exceptional circumstances.

Last year the Government gave £10million to National League clubs to help them start the current season after the rapid onset of the second Covid-19 wave swiftly ended plans to admit fans to grounds. But that funding has now run out. 

Southport FC has now shared fears over the safety of players, staff and volunteers at the prospect of playing during a time of high Covid rates, allied to concerns over funding. 

Premier League players are undergoing two Covid tests a week, with none taking place at National League North level. 

Southport FC head of Operations James Tedford Tweeted: “The priority of the board has always been to protect the safety of players, staff and volunteers. 

“I am grateful for the suspension and should we return this can only be done using the equation: 

“Testing + *Grant = Continuation  

“*An actual grant that’s not paid back to the National League.” 

All of this Saturday’s scheduled fixtures have been postponed, and will be rearranged.

Dozens of midweek matches either side of games on 30 January are also off, but the National League is set to continue.

Twelve National League North sides called for the league’s “immediate suspension” in a joint statement on Thursday.

National League South club Havant & Waterlooville also went into a self-imposed 10-day isolation break on health and safety grounds, while Concord Rangers and Slough Town also confirmed they would not play.

The initial £10m funding to start 2020-21, which came from the National Lottery, only covered the first three months of the season, and there was some discontent over the method in which the funds were distributed to member clubs.

Do you have any stories for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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