Extraordinary times mean extraordinary measures.
There is an acceptance across football that health is the only priority at the moment – but everyone cannot wait for normality to resume… and to ease that process as much as possible, talks are already taking place about how it should happen.
Fifa are officially pushing back the end of the campaign – and the start of the transfer window – with player contracts running up to the new finish date. That includes players on season-long loans.
We have tried to spell out in short what that means for 12 players directly affected at Stoke City.
And having a manager like Michael O’Neill who tries to leave no stone unturned, there will be inevitable stories and speculation about where he might turn to try to improve the squad he inherited last November.
Which leads us to…
Stoke City linked with second Dundee United forward
Striker Lawrence Shankland has been a consistent rumour.
Now Louis Appere, Shankland’s 21-year-old 6ft 1in teammate on the wing, is apparently on the radar.
It’s funny you should ask because we’ve got a profile right here for your perusal.
Interesting to note that he learned the game playing at an Academy run by one of O’Neill’s right-hand men at Northern Ireland.
Stoke City during the lockdown – two more incredible stories
Tom Edwards has bought and delivered hundreds of items to help nurses and doctors get through an unprecedented time at the Staffordshire Children’s Hospital.
The 21-year-old has been inspired by donations from teammates including Danny Batth and James McClean at their under-pressure local hospitals and had an idea to try to raise spirits with a drop off of hundreds of Easter eggs at Royal Stoke.
But after getting in touch with the hospital, the shopping list became a lot longer.
And then there’s this one: Jack Butland rang my mum.
This is a lovely story of a lovely phone call by an obviously lovely fella.
And with that in mind, keep an eye out for this week’s passionate column by Martin Smith about why he loves Stoke City and Stoke-on-Trent.