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Tonbridge Angels put first-team squad on furlough and start to recruit alternative players

Tonbridge Angels have put their entire first-team squad on furlough.

Just 24 hours after National League South neighbours Maidstone United put their players on furlough, Angels have followed suit in a bid to cut costs.

Tonbridge boss Steve McKimm - has to find a new squad of players. Picture: Dave Couldridge (43673625)
Tonbridge boss Steve McKimm - has to find a new squad of players. Picture: Dave Couldridge (43673625)

Tonbridge's home game with St Albans on Saturday was postponed due to a frozen pitch but they are due to host Bath on Tuesday night.

Whether that game goes ahead is unclear as Bath have refused to return to action in the past week. But regardless of the uncertainty, Tonbridge boss Steve McKimm has been tasked with bringing in new players.

Tonbridge have told the National League that with no money coming in since December, and wages and overheads still to pay out, the club would have found itself insolvent by the end of the month without taking this action.

Angels said: "The club has reluctantly taken the decision to furlough its entire first team squad.

"The club will continue to fulfil its National South fixtures, if required, by assembling an alternative squad and manager Steve McKimm and assistant Barry Moore are now currently undertaking that task."

Tonbridge chairman Dave Netherstreet added: “This is an extremely unfortunate situation, but we have no choice in the matter.

"The National League has failed to provide clear guidance for its clubs, but we need to preserve our status and as it stands this is the only way through. A number of other clubs are taking similar action.”

Angels manager McKimm tweeted: "The club and myself, tried and thought about all avenues we could take and this was the most sensible one.

"Conversations with the players today have been difficult, but they fully understood the clubs reasons. A great group who helped our club create some long overdue history."

Tonbridge are 15th in National League South with 16 points from 14 games. They reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in 48 years this season, losing 7-0 at home to League 2 Bradford behind closed doors.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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