MP Daniel Kawczynski response after Shrewsbury Town reveal letter disappointment
MP Daniel Kawczynski has accepted it would be ‘impossible’ for Shrewsbury Town to resume the League One season without financial assurance – after calling for football’s return.
Mr Kawczynski was speaking after controversially adding his name and ‘MP for Shrewsbury Town Football Club’ alongside other MPs to a letter to the government, FA and EFL from Damian Collins MP.
Collins’ letter contained a six-part plan centred around launching a new Football Finance Authority to help save struggling lower-league clubs, but also included ‘we want to see football return as soon as possible and for the current seasons to be completed above League Two’ – something Town strongly oppose.
The club revealed their ‘extreme disappointment’ and how they had no prior consultation from the Conservative MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham before he added his support to the plans.
Mr Kawczynski, who held talks with Town chief executive Brian Caldwell after the club released their statement, insisted the letter was signed in a ‘personal capacity’ and that the references to clubs were to signify those in their constituencies and ‘the letter was not meant to be interpreted as being an endorsement by the clubs of its contents’.
The Shrewsbury MP said tonight: “I agree with Shrewsbury Town Football Club that it would be impossible for them to resume playing until the extra financial costs they would incur could be addressed.
“I think this requires the government to work with the football authorities to come up with a credible plan to achieve this, and that’s why I, along with 18 other MPs, supported this letter.
“While the letter expresses a desire that League One football should resume as soon as possible, clearly these issues would need to be resolved first.”
Mr Kawczynski insisted that the letter’s purpose was to urge the government and football bosses to address ‘dire financial problems’ that are facing football as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
But signing the letter without consultation drew a frustrated response from the Montgomery Waters Meadow club, who last week announced in an open letter to fans their intentions to vote to end the season.
Town’s statement read: “We are extremely disappointed that this letter has been published without any prior consultation.
“We believe that our local MP should already be aware of the club’s stance given our open letter that was published only last week.”
Collins’ Football Finance Authority proposals would be launched by the FA but government funded, acting as a bailout for clubs struggling financially in exchange for minority shareholding of between 10 and 49 per cent depending on each club’s situation.
It could then be purchased back by recognised supporters’ trusts or local authorities at a discount market value.