Dover chairman quits National League Board

Foggy Crabble Athletic ground prior - Photo mandatory by-line: Dan Weir/Pinnacle

Foggy Crabble Athletic ground prior - Photo mandatory by-line: Dan Weir/Pinnacle - Credit: Dan Weir/Pinnacle

An extraordinary ‘broadside’ by Dover Athletic chairman Jim Parmenter, who has resigned from the National League Board at the height of the current funding and Covid-testing crisis, has exposed how fragile the unity of the competition is.  

Parmenter has accused leading NL ‘Premier’ clubs like Torquay United, Notts County, Hartlepool United and others of wanting to carry on the season out of self interest – even though his own team, one from bottom and well behind with fixtures, would benefit from the campaign being declared null-and-void.  

But Parmenter has also claimed that the NL Board, of which he has been a part for many years, has shown a lack of leadership, has lost most of its authority and its governance has ‘descended into chaos’.  

The ‘bombshell’ letter comes as all 66 NL and NL North and South clubs are embroiled in a highly contentious vote not just on whether to complete the season, but on who decides what for whom.  

The fault lines between the top division, the big majority full-time clubs, and the part-time North and South have become increasingly apparent in recent weeks.  

But Parmenter now says that the league’s reputation for financial prudence is being ‘thrown to the dogs’ by allowing or encouraging clubs to take on loans instead of grants.  

He accuses top clubs of asking smaller outfits effectively to ‘subsidise’ their own ambitions. Parmenter says the Board has ‘very little credibility’ left and he does not believe that the season can be completed ‘in any credible form’.  

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And, as if those criticisms weren’t enough, he adds: “As a body, I don’t believe we have shown strong credible leadership. Our governance has descended into chaos.”