Sorting the Dover situation
- Credit: Dave Crawford/PPAUK
Manager Gary Johnson says that the 'Dover Situation' needs to be resolved, not just for promotion-chasing Torquay United's sake but for the whole of the National League.
Dover Athletic, tailed off at the bottom of the table and with a virtually impossible amount of games to play, have defied a recent vote of all clubs by refusing to continue playing.
On various fronts - games already played, points won and lost, games and points still at stake - the ramifications for the integrity of the league are obvious.
"It's a situation that I would like see resolved sooner rather than later, but I'm sure I speak for most other managers in our league," said Johnson.
"I'm not just talking from our point of view.
"I don't know if there's any politics involved, or what they might be, and I'm willing to wait and see what happens.
"But the longer this situation goes on, the more difficult it will get for everyone."
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Already, Dover's stand is skewing the division.
Second-placed Sutton United haven't played Dover at all yet, while the Gulls have met them once (a 2-0 home win). So as things stand, Sutton have only one game in hand on Torquay, not two.
Dover also beat Notts County (6th) on the opening day of the season (1-0).
The NL Board has several options, the first of which would be to suspend or expel Dover from the competition.
But if they do that, even the obvious step of expunging their record would favour some clubs over others.
Whatever the league decide, they won't please everyone. But they have to grasp the nettle - and soon.