‘Let’s hope we all have football clubs to go back to’ – Stowmarket Town boss Andrews
Stowmarket Town had more to lose than most, when the Football Association initially made its decision to end the 2019-20 season, and then expunge all results following their further announcement yesterday, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Greens Meadow club were on the brink of being promoted to Step Four, as champions of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division,
They were 15 points clear at the top, with just 10 matches remaining, and were on course to go the whole league season unbeaten (23 wins and five draws from 28 fixtures).
Naturally, then, manager Rick Andrews and his staff are disappointed to miss out on promotion, following all the hard work and considerable investment that has been out into the club over the last few months.
But Andrews’ biggest fear is that several non-league clubs face the prospect of going out of business, before any new season can begin.
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“Are we disappointed? Of course we are,” explained Andrews.
“I feel for (investor) Tom Morley who has invested so much into this season, and I feel for our players and our fans.
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“But these are unprecedented times, and no one knows what is going to happen. At least the FA has taken this decision quickly.
“Let’s hope we all have football clubs to go back to.
“If the Football Association want to raise their profile with grass-roots football, then this is their opportunity to trickle some funds down the pyramid.
“Personally, my worry is that we might be going back next season with divisions three or four clubs light, across the country.
“Lots of clubs are going to struggle, not even knowing when we are going to go back. Several might go to the wall.
“There are going to be some very tough times, going forwards, for many clubs. For instance, how are they going to be able to entice sponsors, in the current climate?
“There were always going to be winners and losers, following the FA’s final decision, and this time we at Stowmarket Town happen to have fallen on the loser’s side.
“Obviously, it’s a huge disappointment for us, to miss out on promotion, just as it is for many other clubs, while a lot of other clubs will be feeling quite relieved.
“There are no real winners out of this, it was a no-win situation.
“I see that some clubs in the country are saying they will challenge things (legally), and I understand why they might want to do that, but I don’t see any mileage in it,” added Andrews.