Dorset Echo

DEFIANT Weymouth chairman Ian White insisted the Terras would not take out loans as the National League funding saga continues.

The 66 member clubs of the National League are this week set to vote on the outcome of the season.

Teams could take on 20-year, low-interest loans as part of the Government’s Winter Survival Package, with many arguing that would plunge their club into crippling debt.

The second option is to terminate all three National League divisions.

Speaking to Echosport, White reiterated his distaste for the loan solution.

He said: “We don’t want to take a loan, there’s no need. Even though it’s over 20 years, that goes against everything this current board has worked to achieve.

“The last set of accounts have appeared on Companies House and we’re in profit.

“The current board want to carry on the promise we made at the beginning, which is living within our means.”

White feels the situation surrounding the leagues’ future is as unclear as last summer.

“The problem with the vote is it all gets a bit muddy,” he said. “We’re back where we were last June, July.

“We were settled that we would play another season in the National League South, then York, Havant and Dorking fought like mad to make us elite teams and play the play-offs.

“Then of course none of those three reached the finals and look where we ended up.

“We’re at that situation again. There doesn’t seem to be any proof that the second (package) would be grants, that’s where the problems come up.

“As a club, this is where the water gets muddied. If I turned round and said that Weymouth want the season to stop, there will be sceptics saying you only want that because you’re in the relegation zone.

“That’s partly the problem, but it’s not just about football. It’s about the safety of everyone involved – I’ve not been to the last three games.

“I don’t need to be there and I chose not to be.

“As a board, we’ve not made a physical decision (on the vote). The only thing we have said is we don’t want to take loans.

“It isn’t in our best interest. We want to live within our means.

“I think some of the fans think we’re on the edge, but we’re not. We’re nowhere near because we’ll never let it get to the edge.”

Yesterday a petition and PR campaign was launched in a bid to reverse the Government’s stance and provide £11m of grants, not loans, to see clubs through to March.

Expanding on the petition, White said: “There’s no sign of the resolution yet. All I’ve had is the stuff from Scott (Priestnall, chairman) at Yeovil about the petition.

“Oddly, they’re asking us to hold off a week before we vote because there’s going to be quite a bit of publicity over it all.”

Complicating the picture further is the National League South and North, which is currently suspended until Saturday.

A delay in voting calls into question the scheduled restart for clubs in those divisions.

Meanwhile, on the pitch, Weymouth tonight travel to Boreham Wood in league action (7.45pm).

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