Nantwich Town v Crewe Alexandra 2019

Bosses of the Northern Premier League in which Nantwich Town play have been dealt a blow after its main sponsor BetVictor served notice to end its contract.

BetVictor served notice in March on the NPL, the Isthmian League and the Southern Football League that they were activating the break clause in each of their contracts.

It means their sponsorship of the leagues will cease on July 9.

It’s another blow to the leagues which were told by the FA Council last week that the 2019-20 seasons must not be completed and all results, and potential promotions and relegations cancelled.

BetVictor’s decision was made prior to the coronavirus crisis so is not believed to be linked to the current pandemic or the decision to end the seasons.

All clubs in the three leagues have been written to.

The letter states: “BetVictor have terminated the sponsorship for a number of reasons, but mainly due to the fact that the increasing compliance restrictions and challenges faced in their first seven months outweighed the benefits they were drawing from the sponsorship.

“However, the escalating negativity towards betting in football did not help, nor did – most disappointingly – compliance breaches by clubs in and outside of the Isthmian League.

“Although the search for a new sponsor has begun, the Covid-19 crisis makes it very difficult to engage meaningfully with potential replacements.

“So, as of now, the Leagues operating at Step Three and Four have no main sponsor for season 2020/21.”

The Northern Premier League has not issued a statement.

However, Isthmian League Chairman Nick Robinson said: “We are very disappointed that this decision was made as it means that we are not able to develop the relationship with the sponsor.

“We are actively looking for a new sponsor, but are apprehensive at this time due to the general economic downturn due to Covid-19.

“We believe we have a good and marketable product which has attracted sponsors for nearly 40 years, and we hope will continue to do so once we are able to restart the League.”

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