CHAIRMAN Chris Reeves described as a “financial nightmare” Poole Town’s scrapped Southern League South campaign - but believes it was “sensible” to void the season due to COVID-19.

Dolphins last week learned their fate for the 2019-20 season when the FA announced steps three to six of the non-league pyramid would be finished prematurely, with no promotion or relegation.

Tom Killick’s men had been sat ninth in the table with games in hand on all of those above them, due to a vast number of fixtures called off because of a waterlogged pitch at Black Gold Stadium.

Poole had only been able to host eight home league games on their own patch – a situation Reeves described as a “cash-flow desert” when launching a JustGiving page to aid the club in December.

Speaking about the absence of matchday revenue following the ending to the season, the chairman told the Daily Echo: “It’s made it a hell of a lot worse.

“It’s been a nightmare of all nightmares as far as this season is concerned. I guess we’re probably amongst the clubs hardest hit, but every club will be in financial difficulty.

“It doesn’t take a mathematical genius (to work out) that we’ve been desperately short of cash, because of the lack of matchday income.

“We were desperate for the better weather to come, to get those 12 home games in and generate some much-needed income. At the time where the weather has changed and the pitch is perfect, along comes the coronavirus.

“We now have absolutely no means of generating any income. We can’t use our clubhouse due to planning permissions anyway and no one is going to be interested in sponsorship for obvious reasons.

“It’s just an absolute financial nightmare. I’m very fortunate to have the best board of directors around me that I have worked with in all my years at the club.

“We are meeting by Skype very regularly, doing our best to navigate the club through these murky financial waters.”

He added: “We will be doing everything within our power to stay at the same level and to be as competitive as we can next season. I’m not saying we haven’t got huge problems to overcome.

“If there was a fairy godfather out there prepared to come with a cash injection, he would be hugged until the breath was all out of him.

“We are facing a huge dilemma. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by people who are prepared to use a fair amount of personal money to keep the club afloat. That can only go on for so long.

“Thank goodness we have better support than most clubs at this level, because without that, we would have folded years ago.”

Despite a fixture backlog limiting their league progress and position, Dolphins were just seven points away from a place in the play-offs.

But chief Reeves, who sits on the FA’s Alliance Leagues Committee, believes clubs “needed certainty” regarding how the league campaign would finish.

He said: “I’ve been involved in the process. I sit on the Alliance Committee, so I’ve seen it coming.

“I think it is the only sensible decision. Given the gravity of what the country has to cope with, I don’t see any alternative.

“We needed certainty – we had to know what we are dealing with, and now we do.

“I’m sure there will be one or two clubs who feel aggrieved but all the people I’ve spoken to feel like this is the right decision.

“This was a decision that those in the game were hoping for, to create certainty, so we knew the extent of the grief we have to deal with.

“I think in terms of the coronavirus and the suspension of football, it is an act of God. I think the consequence of what is happening is that there are going to be scores and scores, if not hundreds of clubs across the country at death’s door financially.

“A lot will go out of business. Those that survive will have a very harsh financial regime to work with. Sponsorship and advertising will be very difficult next season to secure and I think many clubs will have to look closely at how much they can afford to pay by way of wages.”