Hitchin Town have thanked the trustees of the Cow Commoners Trust for a fourth consecutive quarter without rent.

The trust are the landlords of the Canaries' Top Field ground and have waived the money due ever since the coronavirus pandemic first hit.

It is a gesture that is very warmly received by the football club.

Managing director Andy Melvin said: "'The Cow Commoners are now proving to be the perfect landlords and I cannot thank them enough for being so helpful.

"The trustees have understood the severe financial problems the pandemic has caused and have acted to help the club in the best way possible.

"I am so pleased our relationship with the trustees is now so positive and constructive as we look to a brighter future.''

Treasurer Roy Izzard added: "At a time when our social club is closed indefinitely and with no early resumption of football on the horizon once again, all our income streams have been lost.

"To be given a further rent free quarter at such a difficult time is a great boost and really does help our cash flow.

"On behalf of everyone at Hitchin Town Football Club I thank the trustees of the Cow Commoners Trust for showing such great support over the past year.''

Peter Cranfield, chairman of the trustees, said: "'In the light of the current COVID situation and the severe tightening of the restrictions, the trustees have discussed the matter of the rent due on December 25 and we would like to waive it for a fourth quarter.

"We hope that this will support the club through this difficult period."

On the pitch manager Mark Burke has said the uncertainty is causing the most frustrations, even if the lack of traditional football on Boxing Day and New Year's Day has allowed him to spend the full Christmas period with his family for the first time in the 35 years he has been involved in the game.

The Comet: Hitchin Town manager Mark Burke.Hitchin Town manager Mark Burke. (Image: ©2020 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved+44 7880551692)

He said: "With the move to tier four meaning training and matches are no longer permitted, it is a really frustrating time for myself and the management team and the players.

"The problem is the uncertainty with no idea when football will resume and when it does what format may be used in the league. We have already had two pre-season periods and now a third one is likely.

"I must say I was pleased with the way the players came back after the second lockdown and they showed excellent fitness levels. I am sure they will again step up to the plate when we come back after this latest break.

"Finally on behalf of the players and management I would like to thank all our supporters for their great support in 2020. It has been a difficult year for everyone but your support has been unwavering.

"Let us hope 2021 will be a better year and we can return to normality."