Any Other Business


"It's going to be an interesting couple of months!"

That's what I said in the last edition. I was of course referring to Pools' attempt to get to the playoffs. But only 10 days later, the league season was suspended as the coronavirus pandemic turned Bill Shankly's famous quote on its head by making us see that this matter of life and death is much more important than football.

The Thursday clapping shows how much the nation values the NHS staff, who are selflessly trying to minimise deaths with little equipment. No doubt the politicians whose actions or lack of them will have greatly increased the loss of life in many countries will sleep well in their beds because that's what they do.

The crisis has some huge problems for football, with lower-league clubs, many of which are already perched on a knife-edge, hoping to avoid a similar fate to Bury. So Pools have had to cut players' wages and dispense with staff while they await a decision on how the season will officially end.

A quick word about Mark Simpson, who has been a victim of Pools' staff cuts. Having since Christmas attended 3 away matches, I've seen his pre-match interviews, videos of the whole match day, and seen him in the build-up to kick-off, photographing the crowd. Then he's gone into the pressbox and done a full match commentary, and after we've all gone home he's done the post-match video interviews. And after the football suspension he kept the club website lively. I've been amazed at his contribution and wish him well, and hope he's back with Pools in a few months when some sort of normality returns.

Here's a contribution from Wallace and Gromit which, quite by coincidence, has a connection with the above*:

A Scouser was touring the USA on holiday and stopped in a remote bar in the hills of Nevada.

He was chatting to the bartender when he spied an old Indian sitting in the corner. He had tribal gear on, long white plaits, wrinkled face.
“Who’s he?” said the scouser.
 “That’s the Memory Man.” said the bartender. “He knows everything. He can remember any fact. Go and try him out.”
So the Scouser goes over, and thinking he won’t know about English football, asks “Who won the 1965 FA Cup Final?”
“Liverpool,” replies the Memory Man.
“Who did they beat?”
“Leeds,” was the reply.
“And the score?”
“Who scored the winning goal?”
“Ian St. John” was the old man’s reply.

The Scouser was knocked out by this and told everyone back home about the Memory Man when he returned.

A few years later he went back to the USA and tried to find the impressive Memory Man. Eventually he found the bar and sitting in the same seat was the old Indian only this time he was older and more wrinkled. Because he was so impressed, the Scouser decided to greet the Indian in his native tongue. He approached him with the greeting “How”.

The Memory man replied, “Diving header in the six yard box!!

* Bill Shankly was the Liverpool manager at the time of the 1965 FA Cup Final, and his most famous quote has also been mentioned, perhaps not too unsurprisingly, elsewhere in this edition.

Like everyone else on the planet, we have no idea when our lives will return to normal, let alone when football will. 

So any future plans for Monkey Business are purely speculative and could change.

However, we're aiming to continue in May with no. 190, which would have been, and may still be the final edition of the season. 

We'll use anything our contributors care to write, given the lack of football for inspiration, and we'll top it up with the odd reminiscence piece from the old printed editions, and we'll see where we go from there.

So let's hope this awful virus is kind to us Poolies and our loved ones, and we'll see you again - when we see you!
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