Magpies boss Jamie Vermiglio calls for calm amid funding dispute between National League clubs and Government

Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio has called for a sense of calm and perspective amid the ongoing saga surrounding the 2020/21 National League season.

Thursday, 4th February 2021, 12:36 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th February 2021, 1:02 pm
Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio (centre). Left, Andy Preece and right Arlen Birch (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

The Magpies are preparing for a return to action in the NL North season when they travel to Brackley Town at the weekend.

It will bring to an end a two-week hiatus after both the NL North and South campaigns were temporarily suspended last month.

That was implemented after a number of clubs displayed discontent at the way an £11m Government rescue package, to help clubs through to the end of the season amid the ongoing consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, was to be largely administered as loans rather than as grants.

While games are set to go ahead this weekend, the issue surrounding funding is yet to be resolved and it could well be that tomorrow’s fixtures will be the last to be played this season.

Clubs are currently digesting four resolutions put to them by the league’s Board which will ultimately lead to a vote on whether the season should be scrapped or not. They have up to 28 days to make their submissions.

The Magpies have already nailed their colours to the mast by stating that they want the season to be played to a finish.

They believe it would be “inexcusable” if it was to end now, especially as all clubs have been in receipt of public money in the first three months of the season to help them plug the gaping hole in their finances left by the ban on fans attending matches.

However, Vermiglio insists there should not be a rush to condemn clubs who wish to see the season brought to a premature end.

Indeed, the Magpies boss accepts his club could be in a very different position if had not been for their amazing FA Cup run, which saw them reach the fourth round and earn around half-a-million pounds in prize money.

“Every club is different and every club has got different things going on,” said Vermiglio.

“I think we need to respect the wishes of every club – we don’t know what the ins and outs are in terms of the financial implications it’s going to have on different clubs.

“We have made it quite clear at Chorley Football Club that our desire is to continue and fulfil our fixtures. But what will be, will be. It is out of our hands. I can personally totally understand what is going on at these other clubs. It is the unknown. We never really know what is going on at other clubs.

“You can’t judge anyone. All you can do is make a decision for yourselves and don’t be influenced by anyone else.

“We have got to make a decision on what we think is best and the Board at our club have got together and made a decision in the best interests of ourselves, which is to continue with this season.

“But without the cup run our position would be different – I think there is no doubt about that.

“Without the money we have earned from the FA Cup, our bank balance would look totally different and we might be in a different position. But I genuinely don’t know that because financially things look better for us but, at the same time, you then can’t apply for the hardship loans or the grants.

“We now wouldn’t get access to them, whereas if we had not have gone on the cup run, we would have had access to them. So it is swings and roundabouts.”

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