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Romford chairman Gardener believes non-league football should be getting more help

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 August 2020

Cambridge City FC vs Romford FC (Pic: George Tewkesbury)

Cambridge City FC vs Romford FC (Pic: George Tewkesbury)

© Copyright: GT Photography 2020 - George Thomas Arthur Tewkesbury, all rights reserved

Romford chairman Steve Gardener is keen to see more support from govering bodies including the FA although he did heap praise on the Isthmian League.

The FA Cup is set to begin on September, 1, with the extra preliminary but of course it will take place behind closed doors due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Not only will those small clubs lose gate money, the prize money has been reduced, and fans could miss out of their club in the competition all together this season due to those circumstances.

“I’d like to see some more support even like with the FA Cup, the FA have had to reduce the prize money as they’re saying they’ve lost a lot of money, which I’m sure they have but then again the money for the winner was £3.6 million for the winner and £1.8m for the losers,” Gardener said.

“If you look at who the winner and losers have been over the last five years they probably don’t need that much money as much as a step five side needs £1,000.

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“1.8 million to Chelsea for finishing runners-up probably does nothing to their bank balance, but £2,000 to Tower Hamlets or even Romford or whoever is a big deal.

Whereas the Isthmian League have revealed they intend to start on September, 19, but it could be pushed if no crowds are allowed in by that date to help clubs pull in much-needed cash.

“There was a conference call with the Isthmian League regarding football in terms of Covid-19, my understanding is the Isthmian League, who I have to say I think have been excellent as they’ve done everything they can to get us back playing have always said football won’t return in a league format until fans can watch.

“The season is planned for September, 19, notwithstanding anything else that might happen, but we were one of the clubs that were draw out of the hat for the earlier FA Cup round, so we’ve got a game on September, 1, and if we were successful we would have another round on the 12th.

“At the moment those games are behind closed doors, which not only does it deny supporters the chance to see a game, obviously it stops clubs getting revenue.

“I’m not sure what is going to happen in regards to travel and expenses as normally you pay the other teams and then I don’t know what will happen with gate receipts.”


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