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Coronavirus Kent: Hythe Town manager Steve Watt put things into perspective after football suspended

Thoughts of completing the football season pale into insignificance for Hythe manager Steve Watt.

The Cannons were due to host Cray Valley last Saturday but the Isthmian League joined the Premier League and Football League in suspending play before the weekend in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hythe Town manager Steve Watt Picture: Andy Jones
Hythe Town manager Steve Watt Picture: Andy Jones

Watt was surprised to see the National League and Southern Counties East continue, before following suit on Monday evening after acting on new government guidelines.

League bosses will have decisions to make should it not be possible to complete the season.

Suggestions range from declaring the campaign null and void to using the current league tables to decide promotion and relegation.

Watt, though, is more worried about people’s health.

He said: “It’s a delicate situation and will need a lot of discussion.

“At the end of day people are dying because of the situation we’re in.

“That’s more important than who goes up or down.

“If you go on tables as they are I don’t know how you can justify relegating a team who still have a fighting chance of staying up.

“At higher levels that could affect a club for five years – some might never recover.

“It’s very tricky but I come back to the point that it’s a little thing compared to what’s going on globally.”

Watt was surprised to see other leagues continue over the weekend, feeling a total shutdown would have been more appropriate.

He said: “The biggest thing for me from Saturday was that all the governing bodies weren’t on the same page.

Hythe Town manager Steve Watt Picture: Andy Jones
Hythe Town manager Steve Watt Picture: Andy Jones

“Non-league clubs will suffer financially but you have to take people’s health into consideration.

“I found it strange that some governing bodies felt the need to continue.

“Especially when you look at how it’s being dealt with in other countries, such as America, where NFL, NBA, NHL, it’s all been shut down, yet certain leagues in this country felt the need to continue.

“I don’t see why games weren’t postponed until everyone knew more. Health has to be taken into account first. Players want to play but they understand.

“We’re in an unprecedented situation. Not everyone’s going to be happy stopping but that’s the nature of it.

“I’m pretty sure if a team wanted to play and a relative or loved one fell ill, they’d be thinking twice about their choices. The best decision was made by our league to stop before the weekend.

“I’d imagine we’re looking at further postponements.

“All the information suggests things are going to get worse before they get better.

“It’s unfortunate but we’re dealing with something we’ve never dealt with before.

“We all have to pull together as one and make sure everyone’s healthy.”

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent


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