Any Other Business

MERVYN THE MONKEY mops up


What a bizarre month!


Right now it should be the most exciting part of the football season. Some relegation and promotion issues would already be decided - at least the most clear-cut ones - and some clubs would be preparing for cup finals or playoffs. 

Yet what have we had - very little. OK, the league season has been officially ended for all but the top teams, but the promotion and relegation issues are still to be decided, never mind how the cup competitions can be decided. Yet by having ended the playing season with some matches unplayed, the authorities have limited options, and will be facing legal challenges from interested parties whatever decisions they make. At least Pools were unlikely to have made the playoffs anyway, so still being around to start another season will be more important to Poolies than which division they'll be playing in.



Two former Pools players of the 1970s have passed away.

Former Sunderland and Darlo man Allan Gauden played for Pools from the summer of 1973 and scored 20 goals in 77 appearances before following manager Len Ashurst to Gillingham. RIP

John Rowlands signed in 1975 from Seattle Sounders and scored 10 goals in 47 appearances. He then saw out his career in the US, where he settled, before eventually returning to the UK. RIP



End-of-season solution
Gary Baldey sent in this simple suggestion for finishing the season in a full and competitive manner without leaving teams able to claim that they wuz robbed, if, as expected, promotions and relegations are ultimately decided by committee.

Each club would nominate a table-football player from among its existing first team squad, and they all would travel to a central location, say Wembley or Villa Park, maintaining social distancing throughout. Each remaining match could then be played between the the clubs at table-football, using a table with extra-long handles, under normal table-football rules.

This would allow for all domestic league and cup competitions to be completed, including the playoffs, with the competitive edge that real matches would naturally have, including the pressure to win, and it could be all televised. So the most valuable match in football, the Championship playoff final, would still be as important, with the same prize, and would be riveting viewing.

And if ITV can show the virtual Grand National and get decent viewing figures, why not?


Finally, as this is the last Monkey Business of the season, we'd like to thank all our readers and contributors.

It's certainly been a different season - because as well as the coronavirus ending, Pools have had their first top half finish for a decade, so there's something to be relatively happy about, even if, as with all lower-league clubs, finances are going to be a bit precarious for a while.

So while we're intending to return next season, nobody really knows if that will be in August, so we'll just wish you all well in avoiding the dreaded lurgy, hope you have as nice a summer as you can, and we'll see you ...when we see you!

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