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DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE Managing Director, Steve Thompson, offered insight from the Vanarama National League club amidst the Covid-19 crisis.
Speaking to www.daggers.co.uk, Mr Thompson explained:
The Club has effectively been closed for all operations, football and non-football activities, along with our Community Trust, since the 16th March and it is not known how long this may continue.
All staff have been, or are in the process of being, furloughed so I must advise that you will not be able to contact any of our staff until this crisis has ended. In addition, all the full-time staff have agreed to take a cut in their salaries of between 20-25% whilst this pandemic continues, and we thank them for their solidarity at this unprecedented time.
With regard to the continued suspension or cancellation of the Vanarama National League for the current season, this is still being debated within the league itself. There are many things to consider, not least the welfare of the players and other staff, but also issues around possible promotion and relegation, as well as also the practicalities of preparing for a new season. I understand that all 68 clubs within the National League are likely to be consulted in the coming week about possible options, so I am sure that this will be resolved shortly.
However, with the current rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, and more tragically the rise in the number of deaths, I personally believe that football is completely irrelevant at this time of National Emergency, and perhaps just the cancellation of the season and making results to date null and void is the only real option. But as I say, that is just a personal observation.
Whatever happens, I can assure all supporters that I, along with the rest of the Board of Directors, will do everything in our power to ensure that we continue to have a viable club when football eventually resumes, whenever that may be.
In the meantime, I again urge everyone to continue to follow the Government’s advice and I pray that this nightmare will eventually end, and we can all enjoy some form of normality in the not too distant future.
In line with the Premier League and EFL, the National League currently intend to complete their league season, should conditions improve. The Daggers currently occupy eighteenth place in the table – two points above the relegation zone.