Tag Archives: COVID-19

Football desperate for bail out

Whilst the welcoming news recently that the Premier League will be back on our screens shortly now is the time to spare a thought for the clubs in the lower levels of football, most of which are struggling financially in this current climate.

The Premier League is under increasing pressure to explain how it will deliver the Government’s call to share the financial benefits of Project Restart through the entire football family.

In his announcement on Saturday, the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden described this distribution of income as part of the challenges he had set elite football, but so far little detail has been forthcoming.
The Premier League is already committed to solidarity payments to the rest of the professional pyramid, which have been advanced for this summer. But according to the Daily Telegraph, no new money has been forthcoming as a result of the Premier League restarting.
With Premier League clubs failing to reach any definite decision with there players on wage deferrals or cuts, understandably they desperately want the league to resume as soon as possible to minimise any rebate to the broadcasters.
It is estimated that Premier League clubs keep around 93 percent of their broadcast income. A huge amount considering the vast sum of money that Sky, BT and Amazon Prime pay for this service.
Football League chairman Rick Parry recently said,

“I would love to see money trickling down, but I’ve not seen any evidence of it yet”. The question to ask at this moment in time is are we really going to see any money work its way down the lower leagues from the Premiership very soon.

Charlie Dobres, a director at non-league Lewes said “

For most clubs outside the Premier League, COVID is potentially an extinction-level event. Oliver Dowden referred to the entire football family. Family is such a good analogy because families look after each other.”

Paul Doswell, Manager of Havant in the National League South said

“the reality of the Premier League’s advance solidarity payments was that his club received £8,500 a few months earlier than it was due. An amount of money that wouldn’t last a month in the non-league world.
The worrying fear for an awful lot of lower league sides is without a big bailout from the Premier League boys, there is a very strong threat that a few could well go out of business sooner rather than later.

Article written by Peter Moore

Hull City reveal two positive COVID-19 tests after first round of testing in Championship

Sky Bet Championship outfit Hull City have confirmed they are the club who have returned two positive results during their coronavirus testing on Friday.

The EFL released a statement on Sunday lunchtime, to reveal that 1014 players and staff had been tested at 24 clubs, with only two individuals testing positive for the virus.

The Tigers, who have said they won’t reveal the identity of the individuals keeping in with medical confidentiality, released a statement on Sunday afternoon to say both of those were returned during the testing programme held at the clubs training ground on Friday.

Both players, whom are not to be identified, will now spend seven days self-isolating in line with EFL guidelines.

A statement released by the club this afternoon read:

“Hull City can confirm that two people have tested positive for Covid-19 following the first round of testing at the training ground.

“Medical confidentiality means the names will not be disclosed, and the Club asks for this to be respected.

“The duo, who are both asymptomatic and feeling no ill effects, will now self-isolate for seven days – in line with the protocols set out in EFL guidelines – before being tested again at a later date.

“The Club will continue to liaise closely with the affected personnel and will make no further comment.”

The Tigers vice-chairman Ehab Allam did write to the league and the other 23 clubs voicing his concerns about returning to action in the last week.

There were an initial letter which outlined “serious concerns” and calls to void the season, while another email was sent out on Friday reiterating their stance.

Allam wrote:

“I continue to strongly believe that Championship clubs are being exposed to entirely unnecessary legal and financial risks (and forced to overlook the health and safety concerns that exist) as a result of the inappropriate haste with which clubs are being encouraged to return to training by the EFL,

“I also retain serious concerns about the integrity of the competition (which in my opinion is more than simply upholding promotion and relegation at all costs) should some, but not all, of the remaining games of the 2019/20 season be played.”

Best overall coronavirus solution for FOREST?

With Nottingham Forest sat in 5th place in the Championship Table when all play was suspended, fans have been eager to find out how their promotion push is going to be resolved. Would all the teams hard work go to waste with the season abandoned ? Would fans have to miss out on the exciting climax to the season? Or Could the season finish with the league table how it stood on suspension?

Forest weren’t on the best of form when time was called having just been humbled 3-0 on their own pitch by Millwall.

Thankfully one thing the EFL appear to not want to do is right off the season as void, this would’ve been a disaster for Forest and any other promotion hopefuls. The big question now is when will it be resumed and when can fans go and watch? My personal opinion is once it’s deemed safe (hopefully by June) then it would be OK to initially restart behind closed doors, with media so fans don’t miss out completely. If then Forest are in the play offs the situation changes because these matches need the atmosphere created by fans. Hopefully it will be safe by then to do so because if not very tough decisions will have to be made, Is it fair/worth abandoning the play offs and promoting 3rd place if no fans can attend play off matches?

Talks in government are planned this week about if the lock down can be started to be lifted gradually soon, therefore my hopes are that the logical timescale will lead to at least fans being able to safely attend the play offs.

Another issue the pandemic has caused for Forest is the manager’s contract which will current expire before the season reaches it’s climax. Surely an extension will be agreed sooner rather later.

Alternative and fun way’s to fill the football absence drug have been the EFL Football Manager Cup ( Read more here) and Football Manager predictions by Sky Sports which both have Forest performing well.

Joe Lolley is the man in charge of the the Forest Football Manager Side and he took Twitter to express his joy at one of his sides results.

Football Manager have used their unique software to simulate the rest of the season, and to see how the table would have shaped up going into the final day of the campaign.Forest storm their way into title contention after a sensational run of seven wins and a draw from their final eight outings, moving Sabri Lamouchi’s side level on points with second-placed West Brom and just two behind leaders Leeds. However Forest had to settle for the play-offs after a 0-0 draw on the final day,  a glorious opportunity missed with a late penalty miss, too.

For more on the latest corona virus issues please read this


Blades players take partial wage/bonus deferrals due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Sheffield United have confirmed their players have agreed to partial wage and relevent bonus  deferrals due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the Premier League club have announced on their official website.

On Monday Blades boss Chris Wilder along-with members of his backroom staff and chief executive officier Stephen Bettis agreed to to the mesures for six months  to assist the club’s cash flow issues they currently find themselves in.

Following their managers decision, the playing staff have also decided to emulate the decision by accepting partial wage deferral, and bonus payments, until the end of 2020, due to the uncertainty regarding the timing of a return to action.

Speaking to the clubs official website CEO Bettis said: “First and foremost, our thoughts remain with those directly affected by the issues related to Covid-19.”

“This announcement follows positive and constructive discussions throughout the Club, taking into account the severity of the situation that the country finds itself in at the moment. I am pleased that we have reached an agreement with our first-team players, manager and backroom staff to help support the Club.” Bettis admitted

“It is a difficult period for everyone, but our Football Club also needs to be taken care of and I’m delighted that the players want to mirror the gesture of Chris and the staff by contributing, it confirms that they care about Sheffield United.

“The players should be commended, not only for this action, but also for their role in the #playerstogether initiative with other Premier League clubs.”

When the Premier League suspended games due to this ongoing pandemic, the Blades were sat in seventh, just two points behind fifth placed Manchester United, after an impressive campaign having just been promotion from the Championship.

It’s unclear when and if the season will return this season, however, the Premier League clubs said last week that they were committed for the season to be played out, but there is no set date for the games to return.