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Coronavirus Kent: Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley says disruption is worst crisis to hit football since Three-Day Week

Long-serving Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley says the Three-Day Week is the last crisis prior to the coronavirus outbreak he can remember which has had such an impact on English football.

Invicta’s game at Kingstonian was called off on Saturday with the Isthmian League postponing all fixtures.

Folkestone boss Neil Cugley. Picture: Andy Jones
Folkestone boss Neil Cugley. Picture: Andy Jones

Folkestone had also been due to host Bracknell in their Velocity Trophy semi-final tie on Tuesday and were supposed to be in action at Leatherhead this weekend, but all football in the country has been halted until at least early April.

Cugley, who marked his 1,000th game in charge at the Fullicks Stadium in 2016, thinks it’s the most unique situation he has seen in almost 50 years.

“The only thing was the Three-Day Week and the miners’ strike in the seventies,” he said when asked if he could recall any incident quite like the coronavirus outbreak.

“That was a strange time.

“That’s the only time I can remember anything like this. But that was not anything to do with life and death.

“I must have been only 18 so it was a long, long time ago.

"It was a similar thing for two months.”

Cugley accepted the Isthmian League’s decision to postpone matches at the weekend but admitted it was strange to see National League fixtures still go ahead.

Asked if he felt it was the correct decision for their matches to have been postponed, Cugley replied: “Time will tell, really.

“It’s just a bit strange when the National League and the league below the Isthmian League (the Southern Counties East League) were playing.

“But we just did what our league told us to do.

“I would like to think the scientists (dealing with the coronavirus) are a little bit cleverer than me!

“The league said we weren’t going to play so we didn’t play. But it was strange looking at the other results coming in.”

If fixtures continue to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, it will undoubtedly have an impact on club finances, especially at non-league level.

And Cugley said: “It’s going to be a challenge.

“One thing about Folkestone now is we have been a well-run club for a while.

"So we will get through it, I’m sure we’ll get by.

“If the wage bill is a little bit reduced next year, so be it.”

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