Boston United chairman David Newton says football clubs will need 'financial support' as National League remains in limbo

Work halts at Community Stadium...

David Newton, left, with manager Craig Elliott at the Community Stadium.

Boston United chairman David Newton has called for support to help struggling football clubs.

The Pilgrims currently sit fourth in the National League North which unlike all the divisions below, has not been brought to a halt.

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But due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the club continues to pay contracted players while not collecting income from matchday revenue.

"There is plenty of time to make decisions about how the leagues will (or will not) be concluded, however there is real urgency around playing contracts," Mr Newton told bufc.co.uk..

"If the leagues are not to be terminated, some financial support will definitely be needed for clubs in the National League.

"We have no income but would still be forced to honour playing contacts for an undefined period.

"I understand that the football authorities are trying to find a way forward that is not open to challenge, but all the while we are trying to keep our clubs alive.

"I fully appreciate that all businesses are in a similar position and I do not want anyone to think that I am in any way implying that football clubs are more important than other businesses, they are not, but we do have a very specific challenge around player contracts – an issue that does not exist in other businesses but does need urgently addressing by the football authorities, if clubs are to find a way through this very difficult period."

The club has currently postponed work on its Community Stadium, which is being built on the south of the town.

Mr Newton, who runs property development company Chestnut Homes, added: "Following the Prime Minister's address to the nation last Monday evening, we took the decision to close all Chestnut Homes developments until further notice, to not only protect our staff, contractors and customers, but also the wider public.

"On Tuesday morning the waters were muddied by Michael Gove saying that construction sites should stay open, however it was clear that we could not guarantee the safety of everyone, as it is virtually impossible to maintain social distancing during the construction process, so we continued with the close down; also ensuring that as many head office staff as possible could work from home.

"This close down included the new Community Stadium site. The stadium is really taking shape now and work on the pitch is under way, so it is heart-breaking for all those who have worked so hard to keep the project on programme despite the wettest winter on record.

"Everyone was totally focused on the facility being ready for the new season, but the close down was absolutely essential for the safety of all.

"Clearly we do not know how long this dreadful pandemic will last. We will, however, make sure that measures are in place so football can resume when we are instructed to do so by the National League, regardless of the availability of the stadium.

"It is a time for us all to come together and do our bit and 'doing our bit' at the present time means staying at home – and social distancing for as long as it takes.

"Sadly many will lose loved ones and it will not be easy for anyone. It may mean financial and possible mental health issues for some, so it is essential that we all continue to support each other, particularly the elderly and those at risk."

Mr Newton added: "In terms of the National League, I unfortunately do not know where this will go.

"As you can imagine different clubs are looking for different outcomes based on their own financial and league positions.

"We have had a fantastic season which is a credit to the hard work of the first team management and staff; club staff; the players and, of course, the wonderful support of all our fans.

"We are well-placed in National League North and I would hate all that to go to waste. However, at the present time I think we need to accept that playing football matches is very secondary to saving lives and supporting our fantastic NHS."