Football succumbs to Coronavirus and the outcome is impossible to predict - Crawley Town opinion

The perceived problems caused by the spread of the coronavirus have now led to the postponement of all EFL fixtures. Four of Crawley Town’s matches have been affected and at best their next game will be away at Morecambe on 4th April.
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That is a best case scenario and the season might resume at a later date or maybe will not be completed at all. The medical situation has been deemed unprecedented and the outcome is impossible to predict.

While the situation is awkward for the majority of clubs it could, if it worsens, prove terminal for some of them. Although there is oodles of money sloshing around in the Premier League funding overall is not well spread. Amongst our League Two opponents there must be particular concern at Oldham Athletic and Macclesfield Town whose financial problems have been well publicised.

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Coronavirus: Crawley Town statement Whilst these clubs are not wholly dependent on gate receipts I am sure they would not be helped by playing home games behind closed doors thus incurring expenses whilst receiving no income.

Ashley Nadesan was at Horley Town v PeacehavenAshley Nadesan was at Horley Town v Peacehaven
Ashley Nadesan was at Horley Town v Peacehaven

For the fans the problem is merely one of disappointment and inconvenience. Many other businesses are likely to find the effects of Covid-19 far more serious so let’s keep all our fingers crossed for the family that is Crawley Town.

I spoke to several people at the Oldham game and the widely held view was that the reaction (or rather the accompanying media frenzy) had been OTT. The virus was only identified at the end of 2019 but has spread worldwide in less than three months and gained recognition as a pandemic.

That short spell has allowed hindsight to be applied and it is just as reliable as ever. If you think back to the turn of the year the first thing the Chinese authorities did was to put Wuhan under lock down and try to contain the virus in that city. They couldn’t really have done anything more.

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Yes they could. The reason viruses spread worldwide so easily is known as international air travel. No outbound flights mean no passengers can travel whilst unaware that they had been infected. Such early action might possibly have nipped coronavirus in the proverbial bud.

It will take time to assess how football, widely and individually, has been affected. My impression is that cancelling sporting events may have been seen as the easy option as some see large crowds gathering although perhaps not at Broadfield. We are, however, in the open air and nobody is clamouring for the shutdown of the Tube. Are we seen as sacrificial lambs?

In the meantime I got my fix at Horley Town as they played Peacehaven in the Southern Combination. I met several Reds fans and Ashley Nadesan was also there. We saw an entertaining 2-1 home win that boosted Horley’s promotion hopes and all at an impressively high standard. I hope they can keep on playing.