Published: 06:00, 21 January 2021
Ashford owner Don Crosbie says the idea of playing each other once to settle the season is as ridiculous as deciding games on a coin toss.
That’s one suggestion Isthmian League clubs have been asked to consider as an alternative to declaring the season null and void.
The Nuts and Bolts firmly believe the campaign should be scrapped, in line with league recommendations.
They’ve made their feelings known in response to a letter from league chairman Nick Robinson and Crosbie hopes common sense prevails as the country struggles with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We’re a good team, we want promotion, but you have to look at the bigger picture, and there are people dying out there,” said Crosbie.
“This Covid is running rife, the NHS is stretched to the limit, and people aren’t taking it seriously enough.
“Let’s be sensible, let’s expunge the league, let’s give everyone the chance to stay fit and healthy and the NHS a chance to cope, and let’s come back in July.
“I know there are a few clubs that are desperate and striving for promotion who will do whatever it takes to carry on but we’ve got to be realistic and take a step back.
“Football is important to all of us but it’s not the be all and end all.
“If everyone comes out of this alive, fit and healthy and able to go again, then we’ve done well.
“We know people who are seriously ill and don’t forget, if you get the virus and it affects you badly, and you then get pneumonia, your lungs aren’t going to be 100 per cent and it might finish your career anyway. We’ve got to take this seriously.
“Some have mooted the idea of playing everybody once but how fair is that? That’s not a proper competition. That’s not the way to have a season.
“We might as well stay at home and the referee can ring us and we can do heads or tails to decide who wins, and then add up the points.
“That’s just as ridiculous as playing everybody once.
“There’s another suggestion to split into smaller leagues and the winners play each other. Let’s keep it simple and be realistic.”
Crosbie says players are being “kept on bits of string” the longer the uncertainty rumbles on. It has to be nipped in the bud, as soon as possible.
“Football’s been there for 140 years and it’ll be there for the next 140 years,” he added. “If we have to take a little while out, we can live with that.
“You can’t keep players and managers on bits of string.
“It’s not fair because what everyone’s got to remember is they’re all semi-pros with other jobs, they’re electricians, plumbers or estate agents.
“We’ve got this two-week lead-in where we’re given notice to start up and it’s not fair for people to be turning down work so they’re available on the off-chance football comes back.
“We said at Christmas it was looking serious, and it’s getting worse, and we’ve been proved right. We’ve got to start thinking about the players.
“Don’t forget, we’ve been out a long time now, two weeks wouldn’t be long enough to get match-fit. You need four to six weeks.
"We haven’t been shut down for a week, this has been going on for months. We’ve played six games.
“If you come back, we’re expected to play 30 games from now until the end of the season.
“There’ll be games called off due to the weather and then all of a sudden you’re looking at playing three or four times a week.”