Dover Athletic Chairman Jim Parmenter has tonight opened up on the situation the club currently finds itself in and the tough challenges ahead.

He said: “I would like to provide supporters and the many well-wishers who have contacted the club, with an update regarding our appeal against sanctions imposed by the National league and preparations for next season.

“For obvious reasons, I am unable to provide any detail around the substance of our appeal, which now looks unlikely to take place before mid-June but suffice to say we have appointed Queen’s Counsel to represent us at the hearing.

“I must pay tribute to and thank both Sean Gorman and Simon Tovey of the Outset Group Maidstone for their legal and practical advice, which quite frankly has been superb.

“It has been freely given, extremely thorough and without them, we could not have come this far and all our supporters should be extremely appreciative of what they have done for our club and we are as confident as we can be that we have a just and indisputable case.

“Our local MP Natalie Elphick is also on the case and I understand representations will be made at the Ministerial level as well as with Tracy Crouch’s inquiry into football governance.

“I am extremely heartened by all the messages of support from all over the country as well as the football media’s vocal support.

“I would also like to thank from the bottom of my heart all those people from far and wide who have contributed to the JustGiving page that has been set up by one of our fans.

“With regard to next season, Hess (Andy Hessenthaler) will continue as Manager and obviously, we will be starting in a compromised position (regardless of the appeal outcome.

“We will not be able to compete financially with the big rich clubs in the league, but we are planning an ‘alternative approach’ because the financial madness which is prevalent in our league currently is not sustainable and is destroying the game aided and abetted by the hopeless administrative structure at our level.

“What we will need as a club is for the whole town and district to come together to help us regroup and show the establishment that we will not be bullied.

“We stand united for what is right and just and we will not be cowed.

“So, please, recruit a friend, make a purchase from the shop, buy a season ticket when the time comes, sponsor us in some way, but most of all please come to the games and cheer the team on.

“Let us show the world of football that the people of Dover really do care about their club.

“Let us show football there is a better way!

“In the meantime, please keep safe and get your jab when the time comes.”