BRADFORD (Park Avenue) believe it will not be possible to start their 2020/21 season without substantial financial help from the government.

Earlier this week, National League North clubs wrote a joint letter to National League chief executive Michael Tattersall stating that 81% of the 22 clubs will not be able to afford to play behind closed doors.

The league organisation produced a short response which said they were in talks with the government regarding a financial package.

Park Avenue's director of football Martin Knight struggles to see the aid coming before the season begins.

He said: "There are lots of things that you lose as a part-time team, as well as gate receipts.

"You lose the bar, café, club shop and raffle. Every club at our level does exactly the same thing. They are not small amounts of money when you add them up.

"If, there is no financial package, there will not be a season. 18 clubs just can not afford to do it.

"The other option is we start in January, get a half season in and only play each team once with fans because maybe a vaccine arrives.

"I do not think the money will come through by next Monday, so I do not think we will kick off on October 5.

"Either, the money comes through or we will be reclassified as grassroots."

The latter is a debate which stems from the playoffs happening last term.

It is since then that Step Two clubs have been classed as 'elite', meaning they are unable to welcome back any crowds at all. While, the level below can because they are 'grassroots'.

Knight explains that Avenue were never given the choice to directly vote on the differentiation.

He added: "There was no vote given to the clubs in our league to say if we wanted to be classified as elite.

"We voted to say whether we wanted playoffs or promotion. It looks like we flipped and flopped between elite and grassroots, but we were never asked that.

"They chose to do the playoffs and the only way they could do that was to say that we are elite. We were not asked for approval, that decision makes us look silly.

"Teams like Scarborough, Buxton and South Shields in the league below get way bigger crowds than we do.

"They can get 600 fans in and we can not have anyone in."

So, would Bradford have been better suited going down last season?

Knight is adamant that would not have solved their problems.

He said: "We got away with one last year, but we would not have been better off in the lower league.

"We would have had fans, but we would not have had Lewis Knight, Isaac Marriott, Matty Downing and Brad Dockerty.

"You do not get these type of players (in the league below) because elite clubs do not scout that level. They scout our level and above.

"100% I want to be in the National League North because recruitment then becomes a different kettle of fish. You offer something, the clubs below can not."

Knight also thinks Avenue's FA Cup second qualifying round tie with Spennymoor Town next Saturday will be played.

He said: "I have spoke to their chairman and it is likely that the game will go ahead.

"Despite, it not being definite, everyone is looking at the ramifications of playing that game and what it really means.

"There is an appetite to play the match so I am reasonably confident that it will go ahead."