Non-league clubs may be fighting for their futures, says Lancaster boss Mark Fell

Many non-league clubs could be facing a fight for survival as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic – that is the view of Lancaster City boss Mark Fell.

Thursday, 21st January 2021, 8:00 am
Lancaster boss Mark Fell (photo: Tony North)

The Dolly Blues are currently inactive after seeing the Northern Premier League season suspended until March 6 after the country went into its third national lockdown in less than a year.

All non-league football from steps three to six has been placed in cold storage and the likelihood is that the 2020/21 season will be declared null and void.

Fell is reluctant to even start making plans for next season – and he believes many clubs at this level and below may have uncertain futures.

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“Football in non-league is in big trouble,” said Fell. “I think it is fair to say that.

“There is talk about clubs going to the wall.

“Those clubs who have big, large overheads are in big trouble.

“I am sure they are in line to get some kind of Government grant and bits and pieces, but that will only last so long.”

City have not kicked a ball in anger since the beginning of November when they drew 1-1 at Hyde United.

Shortly after picking up that point, the league was suspended when the country was plunged into a second lockdown for a month.

With the plan to re-start the season in December, City’s players tried to keep fit but it all proved to be in vain as no further football went ahead in 2020.

Fell said: “The lads are frustrated but who isn’t?

“We are keeping in touch with them but we were prescribing them exercise to maintain their fitness on the proviso that we would be going back to playing football in December.

“But now we have had to taper all that back a bit because I don’t see the point in prescribing them stuff to do when there is no end game in sight.

“They will still keep themselves fit but we can’t really go around asking them to do this work when they are not getting paid.

“We can’t ask them to do more because we are not in a position to do that.“