All clubs from Step Seven above rely upon supporters to keep their club alive

Wednesday 05th August 2020

DORKING WANDERERS officials say they are seeking legal advice after The Football Association confirmed last night that ALL pre-season friendlies are to be played without fans until further notice.

The non-league football family are suffering financially without generating any match-day income since March and clubs are struggling to survive.

National League side Dover Athletic are on the brink of closure at the end of this month due to their financial situation brought on by the financially crippling coronavirus health pandemic.

The pub industry has been allowed to operate and hundreds of people are allowed to sit on the beach - but clubs at all levels of non-league football has been prohibited to allow spectators in their grounds until further notice.

Football fans attended pre-season friendlies involving Step Seven teams (in our case the Kent County League Premier Division) at the weekend but The Football Association’s statement last night confirmed that can no longer happen until further notice.

National League South side Dorking Wanderers, a club that started out in the Crawley & District League in 1999 before swiftly rising through the leagues to the sixth-tier of English football under founder manager/chairman Marc White, issued a statement on their Twitter account.

“It is critical that The FA push for ‘trading parallels’ to be inline with other industries, all clubs from Step Seven above rely upon supporters to keep their club alive – the stance of not allowing supporters for pre-season games is in contrast to what is allowed in other industries,” said the club.

“Dorking Wanderers will be seeking legal advice as a trading Limited Company as to whether or not the club can be prevented from raising income from ‘non-competition’ ‘friendly’ matches IF games are viewed in accordance with EXISTING published Government guidance.

“The football community may well need to come together on this one to make this happen.

“Why should our clubs and supporters be asked to work outside of existing Government guidance and in contrast to so many other industries.”

If it’s safe for Premier League, Championship, National League, National League North & South players (who have been tested) to play League and play-off games and safe enough for semi-professional and amateur players to play pre-season games (most you can say haven't been tested), then it should be safe enough for football fans to watch the game we all love.

Our beloved clubs' survival depends on it.

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