MX23RW : Friday, June 25 01:59:35| >> :600:11690763:11690763:

Dover chairman threatens to "cease football operations'" amid funding problem

National League clubs were given four weeks to vote on the status of the season.

Dover chairman Jim Parmenter has threatened to "cease football operations" and place all of the club's staff on furlough this week if the National League continues without funding.

The 66 clubs that make up the National League, National League North and National League South began the season in October on the understanding that initial grant funding would continue into 2021 if fans were not allowed to attend matches.

However, this has not been the case.

At the beginning of the month, National League clubs were given four weeks to vote on the status of the season.

In a statement, Parmenter said: "I am really concerned that the current direction of travel will force clubs to take financial risks they would not otherwise take, and I am determined that Dover Athletic will not be one of those clubs.

"We play football for our fans and our community and in their absence, I can see no logic in burdening the club with hundreds of thousands of pounds of debt to complete a meaningless season.

"Funding ended six weeks ago now and without any form of significant income stream I have had to continue to fund the club – this cannot continue and if action is not taken the club will become insolvent.

"I have (as promised) run the club without debt for 15 years and I do not intend to change that now.

"Therefore, unless the situation changes in the next couple of days, I will have no option but to furlough all staff, cut all possible expenditure and cease football operations."

Dover are second from bottom in the division, and are due to travel to FC Halifax on Saturday.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases in the EFL have continued to decrease, with 16 positive results in the latest round of testing.

The latest figures, from 5470 tests undertaken from February 1-7 across all 72 clubs, are three down on the equivalent results from 5,448 tests the previous week.

The number of clubs reporting zero positive cases was 64, one down on the week before.

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