Funding fallout is a sign of the unpredictable times we are living in, says Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio

The fallout between clubs in the National League and the Government over funding is a sign of the unpredictable climate the world is living under at the moment.

Thursday, 4th February 2021, 4:45 pm
Chorley in National League North action this season (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

That is the view of Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio as the football season below the Premier League and the EFL faces the prospect of being terminated prematurely.

With no fans allowed inside grounds for games, clubs have been relying on Government funding to help them cover costs.

Initially, grants totalling £10m were made available to help clubs through the first three months of the season.

But for the remainder of the campaign, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport have revealed that any more funding will have to be provided in the form of loans.

Many clubs have deemed that unacceptable and have claimed that they have been mislead by the DCMS.

Vermiglio can understand that line of thinking, but also believes the DCMS may have envisaged that fans would have been allowed back inside stadiums by now when they originally negotiated the funding terms.

“It was my understanding from the evidence that was released, the perception was that grants were going to be provided to clubs to help sustain them," said Vermiglio.

“But the first thing to say to that is that there would have been an expectation and hope that fans would be back, so then that would be it.

“There would be no further decisions to be made with regards to grants and loans and clubs would be able to sustain themselves. I think that’s what everybody thought would happen back in June or July of last year.

“At the time with the improvement in terms of the Covid-19 statistics, the numbers, the research, it was looking like that was going to be a real possibility by January.

“Now it’s transpired that that’s not a possibility, so of course clubs would have been looking at what has happened before in terms of the grants.

“We have learned that it’s not going to be fully grants. It’s going to be predominantly loans with extensive periods of up to 10, 20 years.

“What I will say is how have the DCMS, the National League and a couple of other bodies come out of a meeting without having any kind of clarity or contingency plans on something so important?”

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