Leatherhead boss says the season shouldn’t have started but insists the league was’ damned if they did and damned if they didn’t
Nikki Taurus. Image credit: Ian Scammell
Nikki Bull has called this season a ‘sorry situation’ but doesn’t blame the Isthmian League or the FA for starting the 2020/21 campaign by insisting that ‘their hands were tied and they were damned if they did. and damned if they didn’t “.
The Leatherhead manager was not surprised that the Premier Division campaign (Stage 3) was rendered null and void and believes that in general the football landscape will change as a result, while he also said that the National League asking clubs to take out loans is “absolutely shameful”.
Forthright Bull, who says football hasn’t really been on his mind lately, is hoping to stay at Fetcham Grove next season but wants the club’s internal restructuring to be completed before both sides can think of themselves. to hire.
When the season was over he said: “Obviously we all knew, and with myself working in the health field, that the second wave [Covid-19] was going to happen, so it was very difficult to start the season knowing it was going to be extremely disruptive. And obviously the clubs didn’t want to commit a certain amount of money to it.
“You can’t really blame the league because if they hadn’t started and the second wave didn’t come, or if it wasn’t as bad as people had expected, then we would have says, ‘well, why don’t we play games?’
“So it was a really difficult situation. But it never really should have started. By the time you cut the crowds and started slashing the bar’s income, that was never possible. “
He added, “I would say at our level and below it’s a very different situation for the FA and the league. The leagues above us [National League and North and South Divisions], once they got into elite status, you can only say it was an absolute shambles.
“I don’t disrespect them, but you can’t tell me the Tonbridge Angels are an elite club. Asking teams to commit with no bar income and no fans, while funds have not been disbursed, then ask clubs that do not have financial backing to take out loans just to fill the matches, i think this is absolutely shameful. “
Bull spoke of the plight of Mole Valley neighbors, Dorking Wanderers, who have been denied a chance at promotion to the Southern National League, and added: “With our neighbors on the road, Marc [White, owner/manager] is aiming to win the league this year and you think of the money he committed between the start of the season and now, to fulfill his ambitions to move up to the National League.
“Now all of a sudden that was taken away from them when at the beginning they were told, ‘we’re the elite and we’re going to see the season end.’ Are there any legal ramifications? they get some of that money back because at the end of the day it’s not right.I can see Marc’s point of view and also those who don’t have financial support.
“They were put in a position where basically a gun was pointed at their head, where they were told that they had to play with no bar money, no income, and if they wanted some money. money to continue, it will be in the form of a loan. I don’t see how this is ethically or morally right. Basically, you are asking a company to go bankrupt.
As for the Tanners, he said: “Myself and the club are having discussions right now. I think the landscape will change. Some say that clubs in our league could go bankrupt, but what I do know is that there will be clubs in the leagues below that will have the financial clout to step up and make the league as competitive.
“I think some clubs might give up on purpose. There is going to be a restructuring. I think everything will change in our club. There is a lot of discussion and a lot of internal structure changes going on and until those changes are revealed I’m not sure there is too much planning that can be done.
“And I think we’re in the same boat as a lot of other clubs. The biggest problem you have is you think August is a fresh start, but last season we sold 180 to 190 subscriptions Fans who have only played seven of the 23 home games. You may be talking about their distribution next season at a heavily discounted rate.
“This season’s sponsors didn’t get the exposure they wanted, so are they going to ask for another year with no money? Next season’s earnings are going to take a huge hit from those two things. It’s all in the air.
Leatherhead playing at Fetcham Grove, Leatherhead, Surrey.