Thompson ‘concerned for future’ as clubs vote to agree to end season
PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 April 2020
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Dagenham & Redbridge managing director Steve Thompson says he is more concerned about the future than worrying about the outcome of this season’s National League.
Daggers were sitting 18th in the league table with nine games left to be played when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
National League clubs voted to end their season immediately this week, with promotion and relegation outcomes said to be under ‘careful consideration’.
But Thompson is looking further into the future with chief medical officer Chris Whitty revealing the country may need to continue social distancing until 2021.
“This season is over and we’re more concerned at the moment with what the chief medical executive said last night,” said Thompson.
“If there has got to be social distancing put in place until at least January, when might we ever start football again?
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“What can we do for planning for next season. I know the chief medical officer is only an advisor, so we’ve still got to wait and see how the government determines what to do.
“But it was always my understanding that however they lift the restrictions sport, clubs, and bars will be one of the last to have restrictions lifted.
“We were always going to be a few months down the line anyway, but now it could be seven or eight months, so I honestly don’t know.
“Until we get some more clarity from the government, I really don’t know what we’re going to do. If you can’t play cricket, how can you play football?”
Dagenham & Redbridge club staff have been placed on furlough leave, with full-time staff including players agreeing to take a 20-25 per cent pay cut to help ease the financial burden on the club due to a loss of matchday income.
And Thompson admitted it then makes it extremely hard for them to get anything out to their supporters, adding: “We’ve literally got zero income, our only income is the job retention scheme.
“One of the frustrating things is that in an effort to save cash and see the club survive the next few months, all of our staff have been furloughed, which means that it’s hard to get messages out to supporters as obviously we can’t use the website or our Twitter account.”
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