Ilford boss Peek fears the worst for some clubs

Action from the local derby at Cricklefields during Ilford vs Woodford Town, Essex Senior League Foo

Action from the local derby during Ilford vs Woodford Town, Essex Senior League Football at Cricklefield Stadium - Credit: Ray Lawrence/TGS Photo

Ilford manager and chairman Adam Peek is fearing the worst for many non-league clubs as they remain uncertain about the future.

All football below Level Three has been suspended until reportedly at least mid-February following instructions from the FA after the government announced a third national lockdown. 

Peek is also wondering when clubs will be informed of potential grants or loans that were discussed during the second lockdown. 

“We were told back in November that there was going to be a new grant/loan system brought in by the FA and as of yet nobody has had any details about it and it hasn’t been communicated so I fear for the worst for a lot of clubs,” Peek admitted. 

“I just don’t know how clubs will survive unless they’ve got financial stability or they’ve got someone that is backing them. 

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“We’ll be fine, we’re in a fairly strong place, providing this doesn’t go on until the end of the year.” 

The Essex Senior League could look very different next season even if the season is made null and void says the Foxes chairman. 

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“The league or the teams in the league next season could look very different, not due to promotion or relegation. Some clubs might even opt to drop down as they can’t afford it. 

“You’ve got to ask yourself though, a lot of the clubs would have got some form of grants, we got some grants and it’s how those clubs have spent that money. 

“We made a decision as a club, we obviously invested the pitch grant that we got on the pitch, but the other grants that we got that were small we didn’t spend. 

“We didn’t say we’re going to go buy something new for x, y and z, we knew this money had to be used wisely. 

“Clubs that have spent those grants on expenses, players or buying new tracksuits or whatever, they will be struggling. 

“I know there was even talk of a few clubs that were struggling in the last lockdown.” 

Peek added: “Teams like Saffron Walden Town get 200 to 300 people at every game. They’ve got people that work there, they’ve employed people so I just don’t know what happens for clubs like that. 

“I just hope teams can come out of it strong and we can be in a fairly strong place after this.” 

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