HEREFORD FC chairman Andrew Graham says he is confident that financial assistance for the club will be finalised this week ahead of their FA Cup tie at Gosport Borough on Saturday.

However, he says that the club 'will not look to risk reserves again, on what is effectively a flip of the coin'.

Last week National League North clubs met and stated that 81 per cent of clubs would not be in a position to start the season without financial assistance.

They were told by the National League that discussions were ongoing with the Government with regards to securing a financial support package to assist the National League system.

However, teams are due to begin competitive action on Saturday in the FA Cup and clubs fear that once they compete contracts with players will then commence.

"Put simply, playing football without fans in attendance is just not a viable option, at least not in the medium to long term, and we would certainly be reliant on financial assistance from the Government in order to allow us to commence the season," said Graham in a statement on the club's official website.

"Over the weekend just gone, we have provided the National League with the financial information that they have requested as they continue to work hard to secure financial assistance from the Government.

"We still do not have any further news as to when this potential support might be confirmed, and it is fair to say that time is certainly not on our side.

"I do, however, remain hopeful that those talks will be successful and that they will be finalised later this week.

"As a board, we are adamant that we remain sustainable and will not look to risk reserves again, on what is effectively a flip of the coin.

"We must protect the integrity of the club and minimise the potential risk to supporters and the longevity of Hereford FC."

Hereford have also been successful in obtaining two grants from the Football Association.

A total of £15,000 has been received from the Matchday Support Fund, whilst a further £500 has been received via the Club Preparation Fund.

The Matchday Support Fund grant helps put in place measures that will make Edgar Street safer for players, staff, volunteers and fans, for the 2020/21 season given the challenges caused by Covid-19.

The Club Preparation Fund has helped prepare buildings, such as the club office, to safely reopen in line with Government guidance around hygiene and social distancing.

The Matchday Support Fund and Club Preparation Fund are part of £8.7m in grants awarded by the Premier League, The FA, and Government’s Football Foundation.

Hereford fans can attend Saturday's FA Cup tie at Gosport Borough.

Privett Park will have a capacity of 600 and admission is on a first-come-first-serve basis.