HEREFORD FC chairman Andrew Graham said the club would continue to pursue what they believe is a ‘fair allocation’ of the National League grant to cover lost attendances.
Graham has written to the National League Board, representing a group of 11 clubs to voice their concerns and request a review of the allocation model with immediate effect.
The Bulls are set to receive £36,000 per month funding from the National League to cover lost revenue while they play behind closed doors.
The money comes after the National League received £10 million funding as part of the partnership with The National Lottery, to allow clubs to continue playing matches behind closed doors.
Hereford are one of five National North/South clubs to receive a £36,000 share alongside Chester, Dulwich Hamlet, Maidstone and York.
The remaining clubs in the National League North and South will received £30,000.
National League clubs have received significantly more with Chesterfield, Hartlepool, Notts County, Stockport, Torquay, Wrexham and Yeovil receiving£95,000 a month, with the 16 other clubs receiving £84,000.
While some National League clubs have a significant less average home attendance than the Bulls they will still receive at least £48,000 a month more in grant funding.
In the letter Graham said: “I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely express how extremely grateful, each and every signatory to this letter is, for the intervention of Government in seeking to compensate us via National Lottery funding for losses incurred as a direct result of its decision to prevent supporters attending matches due to the impact of Covid-19.
“We appreciate that this is a difficult time for many people and that we are privileged to receive backing from Government.
“Recognition of this funding comes with additional recognition and thanks for the time and good intentions of those involved in the subsequent consideration for distribution of said funds.
“There is no doubt that the Government’s decision to take this unprecedented step is due to the unquestionable fact, that each and every club plays a significant and socially irreplaceable role in sustaining local economies.
“There is also the immeasurable impact that local football clubs have on the collective well-being of those that follow them, together with the valuable work our clubs undertake in their local communities.’
Graham highlighted that the funding was earmarked to cover clubs’ ‘lost gate revenues’, shortfalls in income through the turnstiles as a result of Government preventing fans from returning to stadia.
“We cannot accept the use of any other determining factors,” said Graham
“When Government funding was first announced on the above basis, it encouraged some clubs to agree to start the season without fans present in their grounds, because they knew they would be compensated for this very problem.
“Whilst we at Hereford are fortunate to be in a slightly stronger position than most clubs, we understand that had some clubs have known that they would effectively be operating, somewhat under economic duress, in an unsustainable manner, they may well not have wished to start the season and thereby trigger onerous contractual commitments.”
Graham and other club signatories urged the National League Board to base their evaluation and decisions on the objective for the funding ‘to help cover their lost gate revenue from the delay to fans being permitted to return, that was originally scheduled for 1 October.’
He added: “We will await the outcome of this meeting but will continue to pursue what we believe is the correct allocation and that is one that replaces gate receipts lost on a proportionate basis!”
The National League Board will meet on November 5 where they will review their position.