National League not starting worries players - Jamie Sendles-White

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport
Players 'worried' if National League season does not start

Aldershot's Jamie Sendles-White says it is "massively important" for the National League season to begin on Saturday to avoid players suffering more financial uncertainty.

Opening matches are yet to be confirmed by the league, which has a board meeting on Wednesday.

Sendles-White, 26, told BBC Sport: "We are worried that if the season doesn't start then we are not getting paid.

"For the majority of players it’s their main income."

He continued: “There have been months when players haven't been played at all, or they’ve been furloughed or whatever, so it’s tough to pay your bills, your mortgage or your rent."

A typical wage in the National League is about £500 per week, but might only be for 10 months of the year.

"People think footballers earn thousands and thousands of pounds a week," the defender added. "But when you filter down to League Two or the National League, you don’t earn the sort of money where you are financially stable."

National League clubs are also facing an uncertain future because they are currently not allowed to let in fans, if and when games begin.

That applies to the National League, of which Aldershot are a member, and the two divisions in the tier below - the National League North and National League South.

But teams in the seventh tier and below are allowed fans in, something which Sendles-White says "makes no sense whatsoever".

He also believes that the Premier League should help lower-league clubs, with chairman of League Two club Tranmere, Mark Palios, warning of "financial Armageddon".

Last week, the National League said it is in talks with the government and Football Association over a "critical financial support package".

Sendles-White said: "The Premier League is in its own bubble, they are a million miles away from where we are and don't realise the financial situation that a lot of clubs lower down the league might be in.

“You only have to look at the fees being paid for Premier League players. They might have taken a small hit, but financially they are more than capable of helping out the lower leagues. Even League One and League Two and the National League are going to struggle massively if there is no help, which I believe there will be from government.

"The Premier League should step in and help as well for the amount of money they are generating.

"I think they need to start the season on Saturday, and I think they need to find a safe way to get fans back in stadiums.

"Football is the heartbeat of a lot communities and through these tough times, it can bring happiness and joy to a lot of people."

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