Published: 10:19, 21 November 2020
| Updated: 10:25, 21 November 2020
Maidstone United co-owner Terry Casey has questioned the lack of transparency from National League directors.
Seven board members sent an open letter to the Non League Paper this week hitting back at clubs who have called for chairman Brian Barwick to resign over the distribution of a £10 million National Lottery bail-out.
League directors Jim Parmenter (Dover), Anthony Kleanthous (Barnet), Mike Coulson (Gateshead), Richard Parsons (Hampton & Richmond), Shahid Azeem (Aldershot), Steve Thompson (Dagenham) and Tim Murphy (Solihull Moors) defended the allocation, accusing critics of being “ungrateful” and “self-serving”.
Yeovil’s Scott Priestnall didn’t put his name to the letter.
Maidstone were one of nine clubs calling for Barwick to go in protest at the distribution of funds which the government said would be used to compensate for lost gate revenue while games were played behind closed doors.
Board members took a different approach, leaving some clubs with serious shortfalls while significantly over-compensating others.
In their letter, directors - who rejected conflict of interest claims - said they had to work “quickly to work out a methodology of distribution”.
Casey has one simple question: What was the methodology?
“The board refers to the ‘methodology’ but still have not been prepared to explain the methodology behind the allocation of the money,” says Casey in his own letter to the Non League Paper.
“We are all aware that the most fundamental element of the distribution is that over £6 million will be sent to just 23 of the member clubs, leaving the remaining £3.9 million to 44 clubs.
“With the balance of distribution so grotesquely distorted in favour of the higher placed clubs, it is difficult to find that their statement ‘the board do not represent their own clubs’ has any credibility.
“The fact is that these clubs have already each been given £75k more than clubs in the south and north divisions.
“The board, who are heavily conflicted, also state that ‘the distribution fully complied with the terms of the agreement with Camelot’.
“The fact is that Camelot (who run the National Lottery) have made it clear that they do not want to be compromised by having a position on this matter.
“The board members are denying any involvement as they are conflicted but by their statement they are obviously heavily involved.
“The members state that ‘the majority of the clubs are perfectly happy with the distribution’.
“These are the clubs who been given many times more in compensation than they have lost.
“Under those circumstances they have every right to be ‘perfectly happy’.
“The National League and the government reassured us that the funding would be distributed according to lost gate revenue. This has not happened.
“It has put our very existence into turmoil while others are enjoying their windfall.”