He’s concerned that the big clubs will take advantage of a system that strongly favours them to make sure they don’t lose their chance of promotion to the EFL.
Although the National League has 68 members, power rests with the top division where each of the 24 clubs has a vote. The two regionalised lower divisions have only four votes each.
“The idea that we’re all pulling together in this crisis must have gone over the heads of some people in the National League. They’ve just disregarded it,” commented Mr Twamley.
“League chairman Brian Barwick has been quoted in the press as saying that the vote will be an inclusive and democratic process. Yet the top 24 clubs will decide what the other 44 do. What’s democratic about that?
“I see it as self-interest on the part of the top division. They want the season to continue because it might mean two of them getting into the EFL. So it’s to hell with everybody else. It doesn’t matter about Curzon Ashton, Bradford Park Avenue or Alfreton and others like them.”
Mr Twamley, 78, has been with Curzon since the club was founded in 1963. Currently financial director, he has served the Nash is just about every other role including chairman, chief executive and secretary.
He worries that the vote — which ends on Thursday, May 7 — will result in a decision to complete the season with games played behind closed doors. He continued: “If that happened you’d have to go on another five or six weeks, possibly from June.
“It would cost a lot of money, especially if no one’s paying to watch and you can’t have the bar open or benefit from any other form of catering.”
However, he went on: “There’s one thing they’re all missing. Last week the Premier League accepted that its games would only be played behind closed doors if there was permission from the government, and that permission would only be granted if all the players and officials and everybody else involved was tested.
“Premier League clubs might be able to arrange that with all the billions they’ve got but how could the National League do the same? Do clubs actually think that the Government would authorise resources being taken away from the NHS? I don’t think so.”
The Premier League made its comments in light of complex planning scenarios it is drawing up around timeframes where it would eventually be allowed to play with full government support. These include an awareness that it might only be possible to play when there is sufficient availability of covid-19 testing and medical services in place at stadiums were not needed to deal with the pandemic.
“A lot of National League clubs haven’t cottoned on to this yet. All they’re thinking about is promotion, promotion, promotion,” Mr Twamley concluded.
*The National League voting system mirrors the pre-1992 Football League arrangement when the 44 clubs in the first and second divisions were full members with a vote each, and the 48 clubs in the third and fourth tiers were associate members with only eight votes (four per division) among them.
However, while the Football League made all clubs full members after the Premier League was established, the National League has retained the old set-up.