Hugely disappointed: Why Eastbourne Borough were against National League suspension

Eastbourne Borough say they were desperate to keep playing while a National League funding dispute was resolved - and were hugely disappointed at the suspension of fixtures announced by league bosses.
Eastbourne Borough are having an excellent season and are disappointed it has been suspended / Picture: Andy PellingEastbourne Borough are having an excellent season and are disappointed it has been suspended / Picture: Andy Pelling
Eastbourne Borough are having an excellent season and are disappointed it has been suspended / Picture: Andy Pelling

The National League's south and north divisions are on hold for a fortnight while the government is lobbied over pandemic funding help which clubs say needs to be in the form of grants, not loans, as it was for the first half of the season.

Borough were among clubs who wanted to play on but the league's bosses - who had also been keen to keep games on - were seemingly swayed by the number of clubs who were not happy to play on while there was no guarantee of new grant money.

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Officials at Priory Lane have promised to keep in touch with fans the best they can during the new hold-up and say they hope to be back playing soon.

Borough boss Danny Bloor / Picture: Lydia RedmanBorough boss Danny Bloor / Picture: Lydia Redman
Borough boss Danny Bloor / Picture: Lydia Redman

A letter to fans, which was made public on Saturday afternoon, is reproduced here...

"To all the supporters and community of Eastbourne Borough Football Club

"Yesterday's announcement on the two-week suspension of the National League North & South is a huge disappointment to everyone at the club. It is something that we did not want to happen and was not our view of the way to proceed to resolve the current funding questions.

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"The reasons for the postponement are out of our control, and we must respect others' views and abide by a decision made following feedback from a majority over the two divisions. Ironically, today would have seen the fewest fixtures across the divisions affected by Covid-19 for many months.

"We are fully aware that football has been providing a crucial outlet for many in our community particularly the more vulnerable and especially at a time of stricter restrictions. Danny, the players, and all involved at the club were desperate to continue playing in what has been an exciting season, albeit without you our fans being allowed to attend in person.

"We would like to place on record a huge thanks to our players, management, staff, volunteers, and you our fans for your resilience over the last year and the way you have adapted to the many challenges and the changing landscapes. Throughout it all we have felt the support of our community and you have remained connected to a closed Priory Lane through social media, live streaming and in any way you can.

"Whilst this current postponement creates yet more uncertainty, everyone at the club is determined to continue to work safely to maintain the momentum of the season and our club. We will continue to connect with you in every way we can, we will continue to train in the hope of returning soon, we will continue to test our team to keep them safe and we will continue to strive to be ready to welcome you back with open arms when it is safe to do so.

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"We sincerely hope that we will find a way to resume shortly, and we will keep you updated as the situation progresses. In the meantime, know that we are always here for you, you are not alone, and we will come back together stronger than ever.

"Stay Safe and Stay Connected.

"One Club, One Community

"From all the Directors, Management, Players, Staff and Volunteers at Eastbourne Borough FC."