Decision day! Eastbourne Borough wait on whether season is saved

Decision day has arrived for Eastbourne Borough.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 7:45 am
Will Eastbourne Borough have any more football to play this season? Picture: Lydia Redman

The Sports are set to find out later today or over the weekend whether their National League season is still alive.

The FA’s Alliance committee is due to meet today to decide whether to back a proposal for clubs in National South and North to finish the season in a new combined league.

It’s been backed by enough clubs in the two divisions to make it a go-er, while the National League board was content to recommend it to the FA.

The idea for the north-south division emerged after the National South and North fixture lists were suspended because of a government funding dispute.

A number of clubs were unhappy that grants paid to cover the first three months of the season were set to turn into loans at a time when they still had no income from paying fans.

And Eastbourne Borough chairman David Blackmore, speaking ahead of today’s crunch meeting, warned that funding was still an issue that could end the Sports’ season. Borough have applied for government funding to cover the current stage of the campaign and are due a decision by the end of today.

They are hoping for a mix of grant and loan money but if they don’t get anything, they are likely to call it quits for the season.

Blackmore told us: “We really have reached decision day, or at least decision weekend.

“We will soon know whether we have the rest of the season to lookforward to or whether that’s it.

“There have been a lot of negotiations and some very good points made by clubs and, as we’ve said before, as a football club, we just want the chance to play football.”

If the north-south division gets the go-ahead it would feature around 18 teams playing each other once, with one or possibly two pronotion places at the end of it.

Another possibility is that FA officials don’t sanction the north-south league but want a ‘sporting resolution’ to the season and therefore use points per game to work out final tables and set up play-offs.

Borough were third in National South when matches were halted and could well feature if play-offs are part of the end of the campaign.