(except possibly Pools)


Well, the game of football has got itself in a real old pickle hasn’t it? The banking crisis of 2008 passed right by the game and things bumbled on as normal.

I would guess that the Premier League and the English Football League never thought their lucrative empires would be threatened. Threatened they are and there is no indication as yet when things might return to normal.

Over the past few weeks we have had the unedifying discussions about wage reductions, particularly in the bog standard Premier League where the PFA seem to have expended all their energies on the high wage earners. In general terms, I wouldn’t be lectured to by politicians but the intervention of the Health Secretary certainly stirred up a hornet's nest, which triggered off all the discussions. There’s no unified approach as most clubs pursue their own selfish interests. In short, they’re running round like headless chickens.
"Pools can, fortunately, just sit back and let dog eat dog and think about next season’s campaign."
But it isn’t all about the Premier League. There are 72 clubs in the EFL and little has been focussed on them. And this is where the danger lies, particularly in Leagues 1 and 2 where most of the revenue comes from season tickets, match day receipts, hospitality and sponsorship (particularly from local businesses). If there is a long delay in completing the current season – and a long delay before next season - then I can see a number of them going out of business. That would be a tragedy but it’s a crisis that couldn’t be avoided. But maybe it could have been if the PL had loosened the purse strings a lot more. And there’ll be no handouts from government.
So we come to the National League. They’ve aborted the season but left the issues of promotion and relegation on the back burner. And that’s where the fun will start. Barrow and Harrogate are almost certainly going to be promoted to League 2 but the issue of relegation will be hard to resolve – as will promotion from National Leagues North and South. Pools can, fortunately, just sit back and let dog eat dog and think about next season’s campaign.

As of the end of the season, we’ve eight players under contract and Dave Challinor has plenty of time to assess the squad for next season – whenever that will begin. Pools made an early start to cutting costs – sadly people had to be made redundant – and there are modest fund-raising schemes – like the Match Day Lottery.

Why aren't Pools running round like headless chickens? Simply because we're used to crises!"
A depressing end to the season. Things can only get better (we hope!)

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