Boston United manager Craig Elliott hits out at 'embarrassing' levels of uncertainty surrounding National League clubs

Pilgrims boss still unsure whether his side will face Curzon Ashton this weekend...
Craig Elliott. Photo: Oliver AtkinCraig Elliott. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Craig Elliott. Photo: Oliver Atkin

Boston United manager Craig Elliott doesn't know whether his side will return to action on Saturday, calling the situation 'embarrassing'.

The Pilgrims boss believes a lack of leadership from the National League is creating confusion and unnecessary speculation.

The National League North and South are currently suspended due to the ongoing funding row.

Matches are due to resume this weekend, with Boston due to travel to Curzon Ashton. Yet some clubs have stated they are unwilling to return without grants in place to make up for revenue lost by the absence of fans.

"There's just so much speculation and every two minutes we're hearing 'the season's finished' or 'we're starting again on Saturday'," Elliott told The Standard.

"We are literally in a position where the season could be null and void or we could have a game Saturday. To get your head around that as a so-called elite league, it's embarrassing.

"We've not trained and then you hear rumours of other teams playing friendlies. Yet again, it's so inconsistent and I'm so disappointed with how it's turned out."

While the National League reiterated to clubs in the North and South that matches will start again at the weekend, no actual statement has been made public.

Elliott believes that only causes more problems.

He added: "I don't fully understand what's happening yet, but I think we're playing Saturday. Yet there's some teams saying they won't play. There's so much uncertainty.

"There's so much speculation as the league have not given us any clarity on what happens. No definite decision has been announced and that worries me as a manager.

"Maybe we play Saturday and then the votes come in and the season's null and void. You can go from one extreme to the other in a heartbeat.

"It's a moving story and bits come out and it plays with your head."

"I want the National League to be making clear decisions and communicating properly. It's just drip information and it doesn't help anybody as it's always changing."

Clubs have this week been asked to vote on whether or not they wish to conclude the season, but with a 28-day submission window, teams could be playing a month of matches that may count for nothing.

Voting slips were sent out on Monday evening and the 66 member clubs now have to put forward whether they want the campaign to continue or not via a series of resolutions.

Two of the resolutions see clubs from the North and South divisions carry just four votes per league, while clubs in the National League's top flight get a vote each.

"Like everybody else, I think it took me about three hours to understand what it was all about," the Pilgrims boss said.

"I think when you look at it, it's weighted towards the league above. You can see that

"It just brings out that uncertainty. All this could have been done in December, even early January, to end all this anxiety.

"It's the most difficult period I've had as a manager and I know the players are extremely frustrated. The supporters, everybody involved in non-league, it's their life and it's a difficult time for everybody.

"I just want it sorted now, either way. We want an end to all this, it's horrendous at the moment."

Boston have made it clear they want the campaign to continue, even if that means extending the suspension of matches until funding can be found.

The £11m of National Lottery grants for clubs in the National League, as well as the North and South divisions, ended in December.

Clubs have been given the option of long-term loans, a debt many sides don't wish to take on, or grants if clubs can prove they would not financially be able to take out a loan.

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