HERALD EXPRESS - FANS' ZONE 30/05/2020
Indecision means we fill the void with speculation
A week ago in this column I was reflecting on the likelihood of Stevenage remaining in League 2 and Barrow filling the place vacated by the demise of Bury. Within a day that was turned on its head so not even the vision of Mystic Meg can foresee what is likely to happen next in this sea of uncertainty called off the pitch football predictions. The trouble with indecision is that we fill the void with all kinds of speculations: will a number of EFL clubs and others go out of business the longer there is no football with spectators? Should the National League join League 2 and become regionalised with North and South divisions? Should there be an EFL League 3? Gulls’ boss Gary Johnson likes the idea of a regional enlarged League 2 and he’s not the only non-league manager to say this as Havant & Waterlooville’s Paul Doswell thinks the same. Will Leagues 1 & 2 have salary caps from next season and will their squads be limited to 20? To my mind this uncertain situation will continue until the 2020-21 season has a definite start date. What is known is that with around 1400 footballers across the EFL out of contract at the end of June and with National League clubs releasing players too, those United players given new contracts by the club’s owner owe him a big thank-you. ************* It’s a funny old game especially for Paul Dempsey who during his commentary of a Bundesliga match for BT Sport last weekend - from his home in Ireland - had to contend with the Tesco delivery man ringing his doorbell four times during the game! For many, football behind closed doors is pretty sterile but for the National League and below it must be a non-starter as it cannot be financially sensible or possible. As Gary Johnson says, “ Fans make a football match.” No doubt there is a debate to be had about it but surely no fans = no football. ************** Still no news on season tickets. Exeter City’s chairman Julian Tagg was quoted on DevonLive last week, “ A number (of season ticket holders) have already said they don’t want their money back, saying they want to see it used to help the club.” Have our club contacted any Gulls’ ST holders yet? Lancashire Cricket wrote to their members last week offering the chance of “loyal member” status if they donated their subscription (season ticket) to the club and in return are offered a 25% discount for next year with an invitation to a thank-you dinner. Just a thought ….. **************** Even if some year groups return to school there will be no school sports days this summer so the Youth Sport Trust has launched a National School Sports Week at Home starting on June 20. Run in partnership with Sky Sports the UK-wide campaign will give families, schools, sports clubs and communities the opportunity to engage in a series of virtual sporting challenges. Maybe the club, through its Torquay United Community Sports Trust (TUCST) could join in. ***************** Talking of TUCST, who TUST work closely with, it’s good to hear that they have been running virtual sessions with their Senior Gulls and Girls’ football teams. And Community Manager Jamie McInnes with his Assistant, Matt Green, have been helping the elderly and vulnerable with shopping and prescription collections. Good community work! ******************* There’s one more week left to nominate your favourite ex-Gull for an interview. How about Tim Sills or Guy Branson whose forthright opinions would be interesting? Send your name to: firstname.lastname@example.org. As always to all Yellow Army fans, stay safe.