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Evans: Focus Should Be on How We Finish the Season
Friday, 15th May 2020 11:26

Blues owner Marcus Evans has written to Rick Parry, chairman of the EFL, reiterating Town's desire for the 2019/20 season to be played to its conclusion for the sake of sporting integrity.

Last night it emerged that the Blues are among six clubs - Oxford, Peterborough, Sunderland, Fleetwood and Portsmouth are the others - united in their desire to see the campaign - suspended since March 13th due to the coronavirus crisis - completed rather than curtailed as currently appears all but certain.

In his letter to Parry, Evans accepts that the EFL faces challenges when it comes to staging the remaining games but believes that unless the Government dictate that football shouldn’t be played behind closed doors for health reasons, then for sporting integrity all options should be looked at in order to complete 2019/20.

“The focus should be on how we finish the season and not how do we end the season on an incomplete basis,” Evans wrote.

The Blues owner, along with the other five clubs, believes that the financial impact of playing the season to its conclusion against cutting short the campaign at this point should be investigated further.

Today’s League One conference call - secretary Stuart Hayton is Town’s representative - will address the issue but, as previously reported, decisions on whether to cut short the season or how places, promotion and relegation would then be settled are not anticipated until next week as clubs are required to be given five days’ notice before votes on issues of that magnitude take place.

The majority of League One clubs are understood to be in favour of ending the season early as in many cases they simply can’t afford to stage their remaining games behind closed doors.

The huge number of Covid-19 tests that would be required at £150 each add to the costs, while many sides would be forced to take players off furlough in order to play them, further adding to their outgoings at a time when no money is coming in.

Town, 10th in the division, seven points from the top six, have an outside chance of making the play-offs. They have eight games remaining, five at home, three away.

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Ravanelly added 11:37 - May 15
Have supported Town for over 50 years but really couldn't care less at the moment.

MaySixth added 11:44 - May 15
Ridiculous from Evans.
Clubs will go bust.
We will finish now higher than 10th anyway.

SE1blue added 11:46 - May 15
But when reviewing the performance of his manager and players, Evans should look at the previous 9 months.

It's a sad case of affairs when I only want this season to be played out so that the true disaster of this season can be revealed and hope that some of those responsible can see what they've done.

Not that anything will change mind...

madasbadgers added 11:52 - May 15
I think this is pure economics for ME. Given our large season ticket base it would be cheaper to buy all the testing kits and offer live streaming to ST holders than it would be to refund ST holders for the games that would be lost. I’d imagine similar is true for Sunderland and Pompey.

Westy added 12:02 - May 15
I totally agree with Marcus Evans on this. We have to finish the season. It represents two games a week for 4 weeks for most clubs and credit to town that they have taken this stance. The whole credibility of football is at risk if they throw the towel in with the season almost complete.

ElephantintheRoom added 12:03 - May 15
I hope someone writes back and says that a well funded health service and a social care system of any sort might have had the capability to withstand this epidemic - and would you like to pay your taxes from now on Mr Evans?

dav86 added 12:06 - May 15
Why don’t those 6 clubs play each other twice in a mini league and the top three go up.

ITFCsince73 added 12:06 - May 15
As supporters it would be great to finish the remaining 8 games. If only to give us a better insight into what changes to the team need to be addressed, to avoid countless seasons in L1 or worse.
The alternative is to start a new season with the same set up, Chambo leading the team.
Skuse playing his deep role. That outcome will only lead to a mid table finish at best. IMO.
We entered the lockdown in our worst league standing ever.
Change has never been needed more on field.

RobsonWark added 12:37 - May 15
Social distancing on the pitch shouldn't be a problem for Chambers. He never marks anyone anyway.

ITFCsince73 added 12:56 - May 15
Bit unfair Robsonwark.
He does mark, just not very good at it.

Chrisd added 14:10 - May 15
Financially, it’s going to send many L1 clubs to the wall if the league is going to get completed. The sentiment by ME might be right, but this pandemic and it’s impact is unprecedented. I’d rather have professional clubs in existence than trying to push this through.

Gilesy added 15:08 - May 15
Man - maybe he's just proposing this as he says for sporting reasons? If it were for financial reasons, there'd be nothing wrong with that either, so why doubt it's for sporting reasons? Either way, the health implications are the same, so just take the bloke at face value!

Les57 added 16:01 - May 15
Getting a bit boring how the same old faces keep knocking the manager, owner and players. Whatever they do they are wrong, at least let the bloke have an opinion.
He could sign Messi tomorrow and would be knocked as he should have signed Ronaldo.

As the saying goes “an empty drum makes the most noise”.

If you are that fed up go support the 6 fingered brigade up the road, or maybe you already do.

Suffolkboy added 16:45 - May 15
Les 57 ,a bit blunt and pointed ,but you make the point very well: for many this forum is nothing but (an often ) excuse to negatively rant and cynically destroy ,
Over more than a pint or two , with senses dulled or straying beyond reason ,and in a public house perhaps , one might understand BUT if there were any right for an editor to ‘mark ‘some Contributions they’d definitely be themselves in the negative area, a down tick and call for ‘revision’ or withdrawal !
COYB let’s be proper supporters — away with the sour puss cynicism , or maybe just spend Money finding another team to follow !

jas0999 added 17:24 - May 15
Was a big advocate to finish the season. But surely that scenario has now passed? I feel for the smaller clubs who are unlikely to be able to afford behind closed doors games and the costs associated with little income.

In our case I can only assume a Evans has worked out that it will be cheaper to finish the season - why would he otherwise? Opportunity to sack Lambert if so called causes in his contract are to be believed?

OliveR16 added 21:35 - May 15
Football is a game and health is life [Stephen Humphreys, Southend United]. Marcus Evans' difficulty is that he is committed to two areas of activity - hospitality and sport - which ultimately don't matter. I think he is struggling (and he isn't alone) to grasp his own unimportance at this time.

Bluearmy_81 added 08:19 - May 16
Led, I'm more than a bit bored (and frustrated) with fans like you who criticise people for complaining when we are at our lowest and most embarrassing ebb in 70 years. Imo you and people with your attitude are everything that's wrong with town's fan base. Maybe, just maybe if town fans hadn't watched years of under investment, years of our best players being sold off without the funds being reinvested, passively and silently, accepting the chronic degeneration of the squad and hence the club without a murmur of protest or disquiet, then maybe we wouldn't be in the sorry state we are now?!! Ever thought of that?!

Les57 added 11:45 - May 16
Bluearmy81. Like I said same old faces knocking every time something is said or done. No matter good or bad.
Under investment? Well the owner has ploughed in millions if you look at the balance sheet. Without that contribution we would be in a very sorry state yet he gets pilloried every day.
With the under investment shortfall we obviously have, why don’t you pay more or make a donation above your ticket price if you are that concerned. As for selling players, yes we have sold. Some bad decisions by the managers here at the time and others to stop the shortfall in finances we have each season.
The biggest problem we have along with the majority of the football league is SKY TV. Their money makes football so unfair to anybody not in the premier league. That is why we have to keep selling players who go to them and then sit on the bench, never to be heard of again.

Bluearmy_81 added 15:20 - May 16
Les, no one made Me buy town. We were out of administration, finances were improving and their were other suitors. When he did buy he took on a duty of care to the club and the fans. He has failed miserably in this regard. As a fan of town all that should matter to you is that we are a joke club now, also rans in division 3. Unless you're 80+ you've never seen us placed so low yet you defend the man?! Of course he saves tax by offsetting Town losses on group gains so with the prolific selling too, maybe he hasn't invested as much as you think?! I cannot work fans like you out, you baffle me. I know Everton fans who have hated Kenwright in the past, Newcastle fans hate Ashley, and they are Premier league!! Try setting the bar a bit higher for your club, at present you'd win the limbo World championship.

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