NATIONAL League clubs have been asked to support a vote of no confidence in the league's board.

The call comes shortly after 17 clubs across all three divisions of the league were fined for failing to fulfil fixtures.

Acting as spokespersons, Maidstone United of the National League South, seconded by Dorking Wanderers, have proposed in a letter to clubs at Steps 1 and 2 that an extraordinary general meeting be called to hold the vote.

Clubs have until Wednesday to provide their backing.

The Press understands that York City will not add their support to the letter.

In the letter, 11 instances of what the clubs call "questionable governance" are detailed.

Chief among the examples is the "announcement of sweeping fines and sanctions for clubs, who for differing reason have not been able or willing to fulfil fixtures in an exceptionally tough, Covid-ravaged environment," the letter reads. "The decision smacks at best of insensitivity, at worst of punishing clubs for their good governance."

Among the other grievances the letter highlights are the resolutions vote which, it says, clubs were "deeply unhappy about" and "should not have been necessary"; a lack of transparency and communication, including that over the findings from an independent review of the distribution of grants from last October; chairman Brian Barwick being "hardly seen or heard in public for several months"; and failing "to provide adequate information to clubs on the true funding situation" last year, when clubs were under the impression more grants were on the way.

"Football at our level is in a major crisis at present," the letter reads. "Although the terrible Covid pandemic is at the origin of the problems, the management of the crisis by the National League board has been inadequate from the beginning. It is now the subject of widespread anger and ridicule.

"Our National League clubs are professional businesses upon which thousands of staff and tens of thousands of supporters depend. We deserve better governance.

"While it is not the perfect solution, we feel that calling an extraordinary general meeting of the Football Conference Limited to have a debate on the past year's management of the NL board is a necessary first step along the road to better governance.

"We are therefore proposing to call an EGM in order to hold a vote of no confidence in the chairman and the board.

"If the motion is passed, it will oblige resignations and new elections will have to be held."

The National League has been approached for a right of reply.

The league and its members have been mired in discontent since the first wave of coronavirus-relief funding in October last year, when clubs questioned what some saw as an unfair distribution of a £10million pot of National Lottery money.

This was swiftly followed by further anger in November when clubs - who had received the National Lottery £10m as grants - bridled at the proposal that the next tranches of Government support would be largely administered as loans. Clubs had held the belief that more grants were on the way.

The furore rumbled on into the New Year, when the National League imposed a fortnight's pause on playing activity at Step 2 on January 22, a week before distributing resolutions to consider the end of the season on which clubs would vote before the end of February.

In the interim between the pause ending on January 5 and the resolutions vote result being declared on February 18, a number of clubs - citing public health and financial concerns - refused to fulfil fixtures.

Proceedings took an even more surreal turn when Dover Athletic chairman Jim Parmenter claimed that it would be against the league's own rules to take on the Government's loans as part of the Sports Winter Survival Package. The National League's interim general manager Mark Ives said in the following days that "we need to ensure by taking the loans in the format they stand, the clubs aren't inadvertently breaking league rules".

Last week, National League North outfit Bradford (Park Avenue) announced they had been hit with a £2,000 fine for not fulfilling their fixtures. From York's division, Blyth, Farsley, Southport, Darlington, Gateshead and Kettering have also made their fines public.

Dover are the highest-ranked of the casualties. They have said they will play no further in this National League season - and have been presented with a £40,000 bill, a 12-point deduction for the start of next term and had their results expunged from this campaign.