Spennymoor Town can confirm that the club has voted to null and void the 2020/21 Vanarama National League North season.
All of the decisions the club has made throughout the global health crisis have been guided by one key principle: ensuring the safety of our players, staff, volunteers and supporters.
Therefore, the primary reason for the club’s decision is on the grounds of safety.
The league’s decision to suspend the season was the correct one, considering the spread of infection and lack of protection for players and officials. However, the league is now proposing to restart with no testing protocol in place, despite infection rates still considered to be out of control.
Additionally, there is now an unsurmountable pile-up of fixtures to complete, which is not sensible given the country’s current situation. It would mean exposing players to risk up to three times per week, which is not acceptable.
Spennymoor Town is a semi-professional football club, many of whose players have primary forms of employment which would be impacted by them risking transmission on the football pitch multiple times per week, let alone the risk that poses to their families.
Finally, the argument over funding has not reached a resolution. We were promised ongoing funding to allow football to take place earlier in the season, which now looks to have been incorrect information. We would like to thank the National Lottery for the important £10m cash injection which has allowed us to reach this point. However, continuing without grants means that there is financial risk involved in resuming the league for many clubs. Whilst Spennymoor Town is lucky to have the support of a benefactor within reason, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with many clubs who are not in this position and would be protected better by the league ending.
Besides the financial sticking points in restarting the league, it is arguable that the huge sums of government money needed to do so would be better spent in other places during a global pandemic and recession, such as buying much-needed tech for schoolchildren to continue their education, or many other urgent problems which are easy to name.
The league was stopped to allow solutions to be agreed and implemented for all of these issues, but this has not happened.
It is the decision of the club’s ownership and board that we cannot expose either our people or our club to the considerable risks outlined above, and as a result this is for all intents and purposes the end of the 2020/21 season for Spennymoor Town FC. The club will not play tomorrow’s fixture vs AFC Telford United and does not intend to play again this season.
We would like to thank all of our fans and sponsors for their support of all kinds over the last 12 months. We would like to thank our playing staff for their commitment to the club during one of the most difficult times to play football in memory. Finally, we would like to thank all of those people who have worked incredibly behind the scenes at the club over the last 12 months to allow football matches to take place and to allow our supporters to keep following the team, which has been an important outlet for so many.
We will return next season raring to go and we hope to be able to share football properly with our supporters only when it is once again safe to do so.
Brad and Tony