Here we go again then, another lockdown, we’ve had more of them than uncompleted seasons but it’s a close run thing. With seven more weeks of suspended action for non-league teams in the offing, we must now be at the point where a regular season for part-time players cannot be completed for the second year running.
It was only about a week or so ago that I blogged ‘has the time come’ in relation to decisions starting to be made by leagues and the FA in regard to what can and should happen given we are running out of time to fit games in.
In my opinion there is no ideal world left to complete the 2020/21 season, it is going to be mid-February before we see restrictions start to lift and there is no reason yet to suggest that football returning with fans at Steps 3-6 can happen immediately from that point.
By the time we get to the middle of next month those players will have sat out games for the majority of three months and then they would need to train to get up some match fitness along with friendlies, you’re really asking them to be back in around a week’s time in order to be ready to go if they are to be allowed.
I as much as every one of you reading this and those who don’t wanted this to end in a better state than it currently is in. It’s bad enough for some clubs in the National League where covid has really ripped through the fixtures in all three divisions and they will do well to complete their fixtures by the end of June as more postponements are inevitable as we go on.
The FA this time MUST be decisive in what they do, there is no room for skirting around the issue and letting leagues having to almost batter them into submission to get answers.
I even think that running a smaller competition to finish off the few months left of the time before the summer would run into difficulties as well, I wouldn’t trust things to not stop again and then cause even more issues.
It’s not just the players needing to get back up to speed, but the financial side has a big bearing on it, can clubs and indeed fans afford to throw money at something that appears to have no end game? It’s one huge mess that doesn’t appear to be able to be sorted out in a way that is going to please everyone. That money already spent and put into the game is gone, that’s not coming back to anyone, less than last season but that’s no consolation at all.
Two successive seasons null and void would impact further in people’s eyes the way they view the FA, I know there is not a lot of respect for them within the game for the way they are seen to not govern and look after their member’s interests.
The lack of pushing to the DCMS at the back end of last year for fans to return when we were seeing it across Europe was seen as weak and spineless, the latest belief yet another season will be curtailed early will do nothing for people’s confidence in them.
Why did they not issue contingency plans and scenarios for the situation we find ourselves in now? Have they really been that short sighted to not have had something on the back burner just in case?
There may be calls for regional cups once fans are allowed back in once again to generate at least a little income before the end of May say, maybe I’m just hoping a little bit to get to watch some live football once again before a new season begins.
Players with contracts, clubs with commitments, support is needed to ensure they are all still here come the beginning of a new season, it sounds daft we’re talking about a new season for later this year in January when we’ve not completed two in a row.
I’m forever an optimistic person, but I am struggling to see how we get everything finished on an even keel, there is so much disparity between games played from one end of the country to the other I can’t feasibly see how it can be done. More will come out this week from varying leagues no doubt and we await to see what is to be said, me I’m back to streaming Barnet games and getting the Zoom videos going again, well gotta keep things ticking over…….