Rotherham United boss Paul Warne has plenty of sympathy for lower levels

AS someone who plied his trade for the likes of Wroxham and Diss Town at the start of his playing career, Paul Warne can empathise with the plight of non-league clubs better than most.

SYMPATHY: Rotherham United's manager Paul Warne.

All football in England below the three divisions that comprise the National League has now ended for this season, with the biggest battle now lying ahead for many clubs at grassroots level, namely survival amid troubled and unprecedented times for the national sport.

Rotherham United manager Warne, who played semi-professionally in his native Norfolk before being handed his big break in the professional game at Wigan Athletic in 1997, said: “A lot of them are hand to mouth – even league clubs are to a certain extent.

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“That is why I am not a big fan of finishing the (EFL) season behind closed doors as I don’t see where the income streams are.

“But for the non-league clubs – it won’t just be in football, but many sports and businesses – there will be some tough weeks and months ahead regrettably.

“But, hopefully, we will see shoots of enjoyment coming soon.

“Football is a good release for a lot of people. It is not just us, but the fans who come.

“Even if your team loses, at least you have something to whinge and talk about and debate. It adds colour to people’s lives.

“It will be great when it does come back.”