BRAINTREE Town chairman Lee Harding admits it is a challenging time for the club, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the Iron supremo is confident that the National League South outfit will survive the difficult times ahead and continue to play at the 'highest sustainable level possible'.

Non-league clubs are currently feeling the pinch after the 2019-20 campaign was ended prematurely, due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Braintree's last game was against St Albans City on March 14, prior to their season being cancelled on April 22.

It has made for an uncertain time for the Cressing Road club and Harding admits the financial input of two of the club's directors is helping the club to stay afloat.

However, the long-serving Iron chairman, who has been at the helm at the club for nearly 19 years, insists they will get through the situation.

Harding said: "We love a challenge - we've had a few over the years and we'll get through it.

"One big thing the football club has got going for it is that we have always operated through good times and bad by living within our means.

"A lot of clubs have spent money they don't have and we haven't done that.

"We will start next season with zero but there will be a lot of other clubs who who will start next season with problems.

"We've had a bit of financial help from the 12th Man group and Independent Supporters Club of £3,000 and Braintree Council have also been very helpful.

"They've given us a lot of advice and help.

"But if it wasn't for the help of two club directors in particular, the club would have hit the buffers very quickly.

"They are keeping things going and without that help, we would be in serious trouble.

"They are making the difference between the club being there or closing - it's as stark as that.

"We are frugal and we will always make sure that the players get paid.

"The game at the high level has been influenced and orchestrated by money, at all costs.

"We are a community organisation struggling to survive and be here this week, and the week after.

"Our directors, our gate men, our kit man - they are all volunteers.

"We can't as a club afford to put people on the payroll in the first place, in order to even be in a position to take advantage of a Job Retention Scheme but we still have bills to pay.

"The target remains to play our football at the highest sustainable level possible."

Braintree finished 21st in the curtailed National League South season but Harding expects them to remain in the division, for the 2020-21 campaign.

"We're still waiting for a bit more information from the National League," added the Braintree chairman.

"But until they tell us otherwise, we are in the National League South next season.

"The National League has a very difficult situation to deal with and there are politics involved.

"However, we're very disappointed with the lack of support from the FA, at our level.

"We've heard absolutely nothing from the FA."