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Kent MPs Helen Grant and Tracey Crouch call on National League to publish independent review of National Lottery bail-out distribution

Two former sports ministers have called on the National League to immediately release the findings of an independent review into the distribution of bail-out money.

Maidstone MP Helen Grant and her Chatham & Aylesford counterpart Tracey Crouch - both ex-sports ministers - are among four signatories on a letter to league chairman Brian Barwick.

Helen Grant at Maidstone's Gallagher Stadium Picture: John Westhrop
Helen Grant at Maidstone's Gallagher Stadium Picture: John Westhrop

In a tweet, Grant said clubs like Maidstone “deserve full transparency” after an independent panel, led by former FA chief David Bernstein, looked into what the MPs described as a “flawed proposed method” for allocating funds.

The £10m National Lottery funding should have been distributed on lost gate revenue but the board adopted their own model, leaving well-supported clubs, including the Stones, short-changed.

The letter to Barwick says: “We were very pleased that, following our letter to you in November, you appointed an independent panel to review the National League’s flawed proposed method for distributing the National Lottery funding made available to its clubs.

“Now that the independent panel has concluded its investigations and provided the National League board with its conclusions, I am sure you will agree that it is essential that this process is carried out with maximum possible transparency.

“We therefore ask that you publish the independent panel’s report immediately.

“We hope you see fit to take the above action as we believe that the survival of a large number of community-based football clubs and the credibility of the National League depend on it.

“Given the very live and urgent nature of this matter, we would appreciate your urgent response.”

Bernstein has previously written an open letter to Barwick, saying he was "profoundly disappointed" the review hadn't been made public.

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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