THE National League season is set to kick-off behind-closed-doors next weekend - provided the government offer financial assistance.

An email sent from the National League, published by Dover via chairman Jim Parmenter, confirmed that they intend to get the season started on Saturday.

It read: "Until the Government announced its review of the safe return of spectators, the league was fully geared up to commence the season with clubs applying new socially-distanced stadium capacities and putting in place Covid-secure measures to ensure crowd safety.

“The league must now abide by the Government’s decision to exclude fans, and therefore, matches will be played “behind closed doors”, i.e. without supporters admitted, in accordance with Government policy and stage three of the elite sport protocols until further notice.

“Looking forward, the board’s objectives are to ensure that all clubs can commence their fixtures programme, and all clubs are able to meet their obligations over the course of the season. Moving forward with only a subset of clubs involved would not be acceptable.

“Hence, the league’s appeal to Government with the assistance of The Football Association for each club to receive compensation for lost net gate revenue each month for the period that clubs are prevented from admitting supporters.

“The board is aware that whilst some clubs may want to commence the season without external support, the vast majority of clubs require financial help to be able to sustain their participation over the coming months without crowds.

“The league is aiming to receive confirmation of the Government’s support in advance of the season commencing next weekend. Should this not occur, the board will review and reconsider its stance, and as ever, the board will ensure the position and views of member clubs are central to any decision made.”

Clubs reacted to the statement put out by the National League last Thursday, admitting it didn’t really say much.

Notts County boss Ardley said: “I am not even sure what the statement is supposed to be saying as it doesn’t say anything really.

“We are going into the final week of pre-season with absolutely no clue whatsoever as to whether the season will start.”