‘Closing season down’ – Director at Port Vale’s League Two rivals on ending campaign



Will the 2019/20 season be finished on the football pitch?

Port Vale chief executive Colin Garlick believes the majority of League Two clubs still want that to happen, but believes that view could change if there is no sign over the next three to four weeks of a date when the game can return.

League Two clubs had a video conference on Tuesday with the EFL board who are still hopeful of finishing the season this summer with games behind closed doors.

But there is concern among clubs who fear they can’t afford to see out the season without crowds. Clubs in League Two are heavily reliant on matchday income and money for streaming games would not cover that.

Plenty of clubs, including Vale, have furloughed players and staff.

Grimsby Town director Philip Day has strong doubts about whether the season will be completed.

Speaking to Grimsby Live he said he could see the campaign being cut short: “I can, yes. I honestly think that will be more and more relevant as the weeks go on.

“Holland and Belgium are now ending their season. Scotland have done it for everything below the top flight. The National League have now announced they are finishing their season too.

“I think it will happen – that is my personal view.”

He added: “There are a lot of clubs in League Two who are now saying that, for players’ safety if nothing else, we ought to be looking at ways of closing the season down.

“The EFL are of the position that they want the season played out to a finish.

“However, they can’t say when that will take place and it will only do so when they get the government all-clear that it is safe to play again.

“We have got the lockdown for another few weeks, so nothing is going to happen before then. Even when the lockdown is lifted, I anticipate there will still be very strict social distancing.

“The more we think about it – and this was the view of a lot of League Two clubs, we cannot see how it will be safe for players to commence training and playing.”

Mr Day also spoke about his concerns if the season were to continue behind closed doors, adding: “Let’s say we return to finish the season and our next game back is against Carlisle, for example.

“Unbeknown, a Carlisle player has Covid-19 as he is not showing the symptoms yet. He’s in contact with a Grimsby player who contracts Covid 19 and he goes home to his family and children and passes it on to them.

Then we play another team three days later and our player passes it on to other players. It could be a nightmare situation.”





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