Selby Town official fearful for the future of clubs after virus crisis

A NON-LEAGUE secretary has voiced fears that many clubs could fold amid the fall-out from the coronavirus crisis in sport.

Thomas Arkley

The Football Association’s decision to cancel the season for steps three to seven in the football pyramid has ramifications for hundreds of clubs including Selby Town.

Residing in third place in Division One of the Northern Counties East League and with games in hand on their rivals, Selby’s promotion hopes have now been dashed, with club officials angered by the move to effectively scrap the season.

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But a bigger battle lies ahead off the pitch and while Selby are hopeful of continuing, several other clubs may not be so lucky.

Secretary Thomas Arkley said: “It will take a while to get back to where we were with sponsors. Hopefully, most of ours will stick with us next season.

“I appreciate we are not on our own and there will be a lot of disappointed clubs. I think it will impact on a lot of clubs.

“Certainly one or two chairmen or secretaries have said they have had enough and will move away from the game. I think we are in danger of losing many clubs that way.”

On the season ending for Selby, he added: “It is a bitter blow. I think it is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction.

“There are a few options they could have done. They could have given every club two points each (from the remaining games).

“We were three-quarters of the way through the season – possibly more. If it was one match and it was abandoned or stopped after 75 minutes, that result would stand.

“It is a very disappointing way of doing things. Instead of expunging the whole season, they could have worked it out with what has gone on so far.

“They (also) do a formula for qualification for the FA Cup and work out something like a goals per points ratio.”