the npl

Weekly News - 27/01/21

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Weekly News - 27/01/21

Matlock Town Chairman Bryn Apperley says that the club’s policy of watching every penny is proving to be especially important during the financially difficult times brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Their last home game was the 4-1 victory against Ashton United back on 10 October, and the interrupted 2020/2021 campaign has seen the Gladiators play only four home competitive matches in total.

With Coronavirus having taken an increasingly vice-like grip on the nation, the chances of Matlock returning to action anytime soon are slim indeed. Matlock have precious little income during lockdown. The National League North and South Divisions have been temporarily suspended and clubs below that level, including the Gladiators, have completed a survey asking for opinion on what should happen with the season to date.

A second null and void decision, to follow what occurred in 2019/20 looks to be on the cards for even with the season already having been extended to May 22, Matlock are one of three clubs in the NPL Premier Division with 36 games still to play. The NPL season has already been suspended until at least 6 March, so it looks to be an impossible task for Matlock to fulfil a full fixture list in its current form.

“How the season is to end or continue is a very difficult one, and not all of the clubs will be happy with the outcome.. The League Management has asked each club for its view on what should happen with the season and we should hear the results of this fairly soon. If or when the season does end, there’ll be a lot of work to do talking with our sponsors and season ticket holders to ensure everyone’s happy” said Mr Apperley who at the same time praised the work of Treasurer Scott Bradshaw.

“We’re very fortunate that we have an excellent Treasurer in Scott who along with his wife Hayley helps us tremendously. We’re keeping spending down to the bare minimum, everyone who can be furloughed is furloughed and the ground staff are keeping their fees down to nearly nothing. For these reasons, coupled with our normal frugal outlook, we’re able to keep going at the moment.”

The Gladiators’ Chairman emphasised the club’s gratitude to its sponsors and supporters.

“As always, we’re eternally grateful to everyone who supports the club. We simply cannot exist without our sponsors or supporters, we never underestimate their value and we’re really looking forward to meeting up with them all, hopefully in the none too distant future. We hope they all stay safe and have the necessary vaccinations as soon as it’s possible.”

Mr Apperley says the lack of football this season has had an impact on everyone and he had particular sympathy for the players.

“There’s not enough emphasis placed upon the players’ welfare, manager Paul Phillips and his staff are doing everything they can to keep them all connected but these are young athletes who are used to meeting up for training and playing three or four times a week. Not being able to meet up must have an impact on them. There’s also our committee and maintenance people who devote a large part of their lives to the football club. Some of them might not see anyone all week under the present conditions.”.

Ian Richardson