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Hungerford manager Danny Robinson fears for non-league clubs after issues with government funding

It is believed that the National League's £11m of funding will be in loans.

Hungerford celebrate opening the scoring at Dartford Pic: Keith Gillard
Hungerford celebrate opening the scoring at Dartford Pic: Keith Gillard

HUNGERFORD Town manager Danny Robinson is fearful that many football teams across the National League divisions will struggle to continue if government funding is issued as loans.

When the National League’s three divisions (Premier, North and South) kicked off in October, they were able to secure a £10m grant from the Government to assist with the first three months of the season.

But because this funding has expired, clubs will now have to ask for loans if they are to receive support over the next three months.

As a result of this announcement, Robinson feels that teams – including Hungerford – will find it difficult to operate with this in place.

"If you get given a loan, you have to pay it back," he said. "They’re asking you to pay it back when you have to try to run a football club the following season.

"Times are tough as it is, so trying to pay a loan back along with the running costs of a football club will make it a touch-and-go situation.

"As a pure football man I want it to keep going and hopefully the league can come to a logical solution and hopefully the funding can be turned into a grant.

"I don’t think any team would have started the season if they said by January that we’d be getting a loan that would have to be repaid back, especially with fans not being able to come back."

The 35-year-old was speaking just days after his side drew 1-1 away to Dartford.

Robinson said: "It’s one of the hardest places to go to in this division and Steve King’s managerial experience and what he has done in non-league speaks for itself.

"You always know they’ll be one of the strongest teams in the league if he’s in charge.

"I can’t speak higher of the togetherness that was shown and the willingness to put bodies on the line and it’s a cracking point for us."

Craig Fasanmade gave Town a lead at the break, but Josh Hill struck back for the home side as the points were shared.

Manager Robinson said: "I felt that in the first half we were the better side, we created more chances and we were deservedly ahead at the break.

"In the second half, I have to take my hat off to Dartford because they controlled long spells of it and Luke Cairney pulled off a couple of fantastic saves."

The result comes after his side beat Maidstone 2-1 at Bulpit Lane and Robinson was happy to get through the two games without losing.

He said: "If someone offered me four points from games against Maidstone and Dartford in a week, I would have taken it."

The point keeps the Crusaders in fourth place and Robinson is happy to hear the plaudits that his side are getting.

He said: "We come into this season rock bottom and we were staring down the barrel of relegation, so the main thing was to try and turn it around so we became more difficult to play against.

"It’s nice to hear fellow managers give you praise, but I must admit I think we’ve deserved more credit than what we’ve got and that might just be me being biased.

"At the end of the day, I am not in football for the praise from other people because it’s all about what my football club think of me and my players."

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