Review of National League Board is unavoidable, says Poppies chairman Mahoney

The National League Board are facing a potential vote of no confidence from their member clubs

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 7:41 am
Kettering Town chairman David Mahoney. Picture by Peter Short

Kettering Town chairman David Mahoney believes a review of the National League Board’s performance is “unavoidable”.

All 66 National League clubs have been asked to back a no confidence motion against the National League Board and chairman Brian Barwick.

A letter detailing the plans to call an emergency general meeting, which was proposed and seconded by National League South clubs Maidstone United and Dorking Wanderers respectively, emerged on Monday with member clubs given until midday today (Wednesday) to respond.

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A list of issues were addressed in the letter with one of them being about the decision to fine clubs who refused to fulfil fixtures before the North and South divisions were ultimately declared null and void earlier this month.

Kettering were one of those clubs to be fined with the Poppies saying they will be “considering all options” before responding to the charges.

The National League season has been dogged with controversy with the North and South divisions ultimately ending early for the second year in a row after it emerged that grants, similar to the one handed out to clubs for the first three months of the season, would not be forthcoming for the remainder of the campaign which has had to be played behind closed doors.

The letter said it needed 10 per cent of clubs to back an emergency general meeting where the vote of no confidence would be taken.

And Poppies chairman Mahoney said: “I think it's fair to say that a lot of mistakes were made by the National League Board over the last year, but to be fair the Pandemic was new to everyone and so lessons were being learnt over the course of the journey.

“Most people, if not everyone, understands and at least partially accepts this.

“The sad fact though is that the League’s Board didn’t seem to learn and certainly didn’t listen.

“Numerous clubs, including ourselves, expressed concerns over starting the season and were assured that financial support would be forthcoming.

“For the board to ultimately confirm that they made a mistake and relayed false information with regards to the funding, only to ultimately fine clubs for not being able to fulfil fixtures is quite unbelievable.

“In effect every club who said that they could not afford to continue without being supported is now being penalised financially.

“I have said previously that if funding wasn’t sorted out then some clubs would go to the wall, and sadly the fines have pushed some closer.

“All of this means a review of the National League Board’s performance is unavoidable.”

Mahoney, meanwhile, believes chairmen of clubs who were fined after being found guilty of breaching Rule 8.39 for failing to meet fixture obligations had been left “disappointed, if not shocked” by the charges.

Clubs have the right to appeal the fines to the Football Association and Mahoney added: “It is fair to say that a lot of owners and chairman were disappointed, if not shocked, by the fines imposed, especially after everything that has gone on and I am sure that this will have been the catalyst for many to say ‘enough is enough’.

“As stated previously, the club is reviewing the letter we received and considering our options, so I can’t really say much more at this time.”