Hessenthaler on the end of the season
Hessenthaler on the end of the season

This week, the National League finally announced that their season is over and that there will be Play Offs in all three divisions.

With Barrow promoted to the Football League almost half a century after they lost their League place – decisions that have been welcomed by Dover Athletic boss Andy Hessenthaler who has revealed his frustrations to KSN this week…

“I’m please for Barrow,” the Dover boss said. “They were top and deserve to go up. I’m just glad that the decision has finally been made and now hopefully we can start thinking about next season!”

“It was quite a few weeks with no decision, and we had to sit and wait patiently for the decisions to be made. The EFL finally made their decisions in League One and League Two and we still had to wait for the National League’s decision to conclude the League for last season as it now is, and perhaps a date to start next season – its been a very frustrating time for me as a manager because all this time, we haven’t been able to do any planning.

Every time I’ve spoken to the Chairman, he’s been unable to give me any answers with regards to budgets for next season but I’m hoping that may change soon. Once we have the start date, we can make more plans such as pre-season and going from there really.”

There are still though big questions surrounding the finances and lack of income facing many of the clubs across the County and across the country with the situation at Crabble no different, as Hessenthaler confirmed.

He said, “Our club don’t just rely on money through the gate – like most clubs – but also the levels of sponsorship – like a lot of clubs – is anyone going to sponsor us at the moment which is the situation facing a lot of different companies – we are relying on gate revenue, we do rely on sponsorship – all in all its very difficult for the lower divisions and non-league; its tough and its interesting as I suppose in the back of my mind.

“I still don’t know the direction of Dover Athletic Football Club in terms of full-time or part-time as its been mentioned that we might have to go part-time by the Chairman – I hope that’s not the case because when we came in we turned the club from part-time into full-time and we benefited from that and for us to go back to part-time, I think will be a backward step for the club.”

Dover have known for some time the likelihood would be that their National League place was secure for the new campaign after ending the playing season in mid-table.

“At least we’ve known what League we’re going to be in next year “finishing” where we did,” admitted Hessenthaler, “but there are clubs like Ebbsfleet who still don’t know where they are for the new season.

They could still go down – people have said that only one will go down, which is Chorley, which again I think is unfair on them because they’ll be the only non-league team in the country to be relegated. But when you look at the Leagues below – the North and the South – is a strange situation; for me its should be the same structure where four go down and two come up from the North and two come up from the South.

Sadly, that will mean that if the final decision is the table on points per game, Ebbsfleet will go down. They’re obviously sitting and still waiting – I talk to Steve (Lovell) quite a bit and he’s admitted that they still don’t know where they’re going to be.”