CHESTER FC have backed calls for a vote of no confidence in the National League board and its chairman.

The National League North club said, in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday, March 30, that it would support plans put forward by Maidstone United and seconded by Dorking Wanderers for the National League to hold an Emergency General Meeting.

At that meeting, a vote would be considered on the resolution of no confidence in the league's chairman, Brain Barwick OBE, and its board.

The National League has made a series of controversial and at times baffling decisions throughout the past year during the Covid crisis.

Having appeared to reassure clubs at the start of the season that they would be receiving grants to help them financially throughout, the National League later clarified the sums of money from the Government would actually be low-interest loans.

Several clubs, understandably not wishing to effectively take on debt, decided they would not play any further fixtures in early 2021.

Despite a vote subsequently being taken to cancel the season in the National League North and South, with all results effectively expunged, a total of 16 National League North and South clubs were charged and fined for failing to fulfil fixtures.

It follows controversy over the funding which was handed out in the winter, from the National Lottery, to fund a season that in two of the three leagues came to nothing.

Some clubs were seen to benefit considerably more from the funding settlement than others – notably, Chester FC received a significantly smaller share of the funding than expected – and the National League was not forthcoming with answers into how the funding settlements were calculated.

A Chester FC statement said: "While we acknowledge the last 12 months have presented unprecedented challenges, it is our belief the Board of the National League has failed to demonstrate adequate leadership during this time of crisis.

"We also consider the lack of transparency in respect of its actions and decisions, and its communication and engagement with member clubs falls well below the standards that could reasonably be expected.

"In supporting this motion, we hope this opportunity will be used to address the significant governance, democratic and accountability weaknesses that exist within the National League and act as a precursor for the wider reforms that are needed for the future of English football."

Last week, explaining the reasons for fining National League North and South clubs for not playing fixtures in a since-abandoned season, the National League said: "Fines ranging from £1,400 to £8,000 in addition to a suspended points deduction for the 2021/22 Playing Season has been issued to each Member Club found guilty.

"Given the extremely unusual circumstances that have affected football at all levels and the financial pressures the absence of spectators has brought to bear on clubs, the Panel expressed its sympathy with the Clubs’ predicament. However, the Panel believes it must also take regard of the fact that the majority of Clubs continued to fulfil fixtures and incur much costs until the League ended on February 19th.

"Per breach, each Club received a £2,000 fine and suspended two-point deduction for the 2021/22 Playing Season. A 30% reduction was made to the fine for those accepting the charge ahead of the hearing."