If we weren’t to carry on, it will feel like a wasted season but everyone’s health and wellbeing comes first, says Dartford co-chairman Steve Irving

Monday 30th March 2020

DARTFORD co-chairman Steve Irving says he wants to engage in communication with the National League to find out if the 2019-20 campaign will continue.

Steve King's side were sitting in sixth-place in the National League South table with 56 points on the board and had eight league games still to play before their campaign was suspended and they are currently one of six clubs involved in the play-off picture so want to complete their campaign.

However, every single League below Dartford has been declared null and void and expunged from the records but there are hints that the three divisions within the National League structure may still be completed.

“I think because we are still in the early stages of the lockdown, it’s a difficult one, the National League and The FA want to continue, Irving told www.dartfordfc.com

“If it was to continue, I think the points per game is the fairest way of doing it.  All we know is that there will be no relegation this year so that saves the two sides at the bottom.

“Yes of course it is (frustrating), it is for many clubs.  We’ve had a fantastic run since Steve (King) came in (as manager).

“We are top of the form table in the last 25 games.  Steve has brought in a fantastic squad of players.

“If we weren’t to carry on, it will feel like a wasted season but everyone’s health and wellbeing comes first.”

Irving insists the club are not in a precarious financial situation due to the current shut-down due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“We’ve juggled it because of good management,” he said.

“We’ve brought in some excellent non-football related contracts that have helped us, in situations like we’ve got now. It won’t hit us short-term.

“Steve has the same budget from last year and it’s been good management from him, the management and the directors to put us in the position we are now.”

Dartford will consider turning to full-time football should King deliver promotion into the National League top-flight.

“We are now wanting to go up and ready to go up. It’s going to be more difficult but there’s more income from sponsorship but the club has got itself into a position with the stadium and structure that we are now ready to go up and stay up when we get there,” said Irving.

“I think we feel we are (ready for full-time football), full-time doesn’t necessarily mean five days a week, it can mean three days a week, three evenings a week.

“We are in conversation with Steve King about which is the best possible route but we are ready if and when we get promoted.

“The financial situation is better than it’s been for some time, of course, we’ve got some decisions to make over the next few months but we are looking at the schemes that the Government have brought out but everyone has been paid up until the end of this month.

The Dartford co-chairman wants clarity from National League bosses.

“How it works is that the North and South have a League representative. It’s like pulling teeth getting anything out of them,” added Irving.

“Some club chairmen want the season over but there are some clubs like us that have more incentives but I would just like more communication on the matter.

“But you also have to think about the current situation with other teams, within our club, our under 19s were top of their league, our women’s side had reached two cup finals, what we have been told is that the county are looking to potentially play the cup finals in the summer.

“We are delighted with the way things have gone, which makes it harder to accept if the League was to get cancelled.

“The whole club are going in the right direction, from the first-team, to the community, to the junior section and the women’s side.”

Visit Dartford’s website: www.dartfordfc.com