Don’t betray us – we need grants not loans, Harriers tell government

Kidderminster Harriers have urged the government and FA not to ‘betray the trust’ of non-league clubs over promised financial support.

Harriers were among 12 National League North clubs to yesterday issue a statement, following claims an £11million funding package from Sport England to cover the rest of the season will be in the form of a loan. Clubs in the top two tiers of non-league football agreed to start their season without fans in October, after assurances grants would be provided to compensate for revenue lost while matches remained behind closed doors.

A joint statement issued yesterday by the clubs read: “The initial package of £10m was to cover the first three months of the season with the clear understanding grants would continue until it was safe for crowds to return.

“There was absolutely no mention of loans at that time. As clubs we have worked diligently to comply with elite sport protocols and ensure a prudent approach to financial management based on the reassurances given in October.

“We therefore call on secretary of state Oliver Dowden, the department of culture, media and sport and the FA not to betray the trust National League clubs placed in them by agreeing to commence the season and to ensure the additional £11m in support is in the form of grants not loans.”

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