Tonbridge Angels: Payments to players have had to cease with effect from yesterday but of course we will take due regard to those players who are under contract

Saturday 21st March 2020

Tonbridge Angels chairman Dave Netherstreet has issued the following statement:

Dear Angels Owner and Supporter

We are now a week into the suspension of all football and indeed much of normal life due the Coronavirus outbreak and I thought I should update owners and supporters of the club’s current position. 

At it stands there is no forecasted income coming into the club, as not only are all matches postponed indefinitely but also all events that include those organised by the club and third parties as well as private occasions such as weddings, birthdays etc.  All the other clubs/societies that use our premises for their regular meetings have also had to suspend their activities.

I have contacted the utility companies to ask that our payments be adjusted down to which they have helpfully agreed, and of course alongside that our use of those services will be substantially reduced. 

Payments to players have had to cease with effect from yesterday (20th March) but of course we will take due regard to those players who are under contract.

With regard to our tax bills we are seeking advice from HMRC under the Time to Pay initiative announced by the Chancellor the other day to understand how a deferral scheme might work and hopefully agree a schedule for payments. 

The Chancellor also announced there would be a business rate relief and we are currently contacting the local authority to seek further clarification.

As far as possible I am paying off as many outstanding debts to suppliers as possible as it is appreciated that they are suffering the same economic pressures as the club.

These are of course worrying times as once again it seems the club faces a crisis along this time with all our other friends in the non-league family.  

The National League has said all matches postponed until 3rd April but surely that will have to be extended.  

Let’s be very clear this crisis is so much bigger than football. People’s lives are at stake and at the very least many will suffer financial hardship and the severe stress that will bring.  Football will come back, sadly some supporters of the game we all love will not.

So in the greater scheme of things what can we as Angels supporters do?  

Please keep bringing food mainly in the form of tins, the list is on the website, for the Sustain foodbank project being run by Tonbridge Baptist Church in Darenth Avenue just a few steps from the ground.  You can now bring donations direct to the church itself.  

Now more than ever some people in Tonbridge will be in need of the basics and will not have the money to pay for those basics. 

Wherever possible and practical do please keep supporting our commercial partners.  Like ourselves they will be going through tough times.  You will find them featured on our website or alternatively if you have an Angels programme to hand some of them are contained in there. 

If you know of a fellow Angels supporter who might need assistance because perhaps they are in self-isolation or in a vulnerable group then please contact them to see if you can help in any way.  They might just be grateful for a chat. We already know this has started to happen so thank you. 

Finally, please follow all the Government, NHS and Public Health England advice; its there to help you and save lives and I can’t therefore think of a better reason not to take heed. 

Hopefully it won’t be too long before we can all share that moment as our players in their blue shirts walk out to compete in a game of football.