Darlington will not be playing Boston United in their re-arranged game tonight as the National League crisis took another twist.

Quakers were due to play Boston at home for the second time this season after the first game was abandoned near the end because of the serious head injury to defender Nicky Hunt, but Quakers told the league yesterday afternoon that they have “just cause” not to play it because of the ongoing uncertainty within the league.

League clubs have been voting on whether to null and void the league or continue it, with no sign of how the league will be funded for the rest of the season.

A club statement said: “The issue of financial funding through grants has not been resolved since the start of the league suspension in January. Indeed, there is now doubt about whether the league is breaking its own rules by encouraging clubs to take out loans from the DCMS, according to quotes attributed to the league’s general manager in the Non-League Paper on Sunday.

“At the start of the season, in a letter to all clubs from the National League, we were informed that each club would receive “compensation for lost net gate revenue each month for the period that clubs are prevented from admitting supporters”.

“We are grateful for the National Lottery grant for the first three months of the season; however, we were clearly led to believe in September 2020 and October 2020 that in the absence of crowds then more grant funding would be received.

“This club has endured three harmful administrations, and since the fans took over the ownership of the club in 2012, we have worked very hard to make the club sustainable through many fundraising campaigns. We have learned the lessons of the mistakes of past owners, which makes us very determined not to over-burden the club with debt from a loan – no matter what the terms and repayment period are - and wipe out all the hard work of the last nine years for the sake of four months.  It would be unreasonable to require us to get into debt to carry on playing when we relied on the representations by the National League regarding funding and compensation whilst playing behind closed doors.

“We are determined that we shall not trade while insolvent – indeed to do so knowingly is illegal. We estimate that we have lost approximately £50,000 in January, and probably another £50,000 in February. We therefore believe that we have just cause (under league rule 8.39) in not playing the game on Tuesday.

“There has been limited progress on the proposed lateral flow testing of players as part of Covid secure arrangements whilst every other organisation that continues to operate during the pandemic is providing testing or is gaining access to government-funded testing. Given the financial status of National League North football clubs operating behind closed doors, it is reasonable for the National League to provide, or make available, funding for such testing. This is evidenced by actions taken in other “elite” leagues. Until such testing is in place, we believe this is further justification for not playing.

“In these circumstances we believe that we have been misled by the National League, and therefore an objective independent person would consider it wholly unreasonable to require us to play matches until there is resolution to the financial and safety issues that have been known by the National League for many weeks.

“We are sure that our fellow clubs and supporters will understand and appreciate why we have taken this course of action.”

Quakers’ next game is at home to Fylde on Saturday, but the club says that they are reviewing their position on a “game-by-game” basis.