O'Neill: Uncertainty Making Planning Incredibly Difficult
Thursday, 11th Jun 2020 14:26
Blues general manager of football operations Lee O’Neill says it is currently very difficult to plan ahead for next season with so much uncertainty in the game outside the top flight.
O’Neill has praised fans for their support with around three quarters of the existing season ticket holders - understood to be approaching 12,000 - opting to renew their seats despite not knowing when the 2020/21 campaign might begin.
While a September start has been mooted, either behind closed doors or in front of limited fans, it has also been suggested that some League One and Two clubs might not be able to return to action until it’s safe for crowds to return due to the financial implications.
“It’s very uncertain times for us and for every other club, especially those outside the Premier League,” O’Neill told the club website.
“It’s incredibly difficult to plan for next season when we don’t know what it’s going to look like. When will the season start? When will it be safe for players to be back in training? Is the testing procedure still going to be in place to test all players and staff? When will fans be allowed back? How many fans will be allowed back? How will all that affect budgets?
“There are a lot of questions to be answered, a lot of clarity needed and until we get more information, it’s almost impossible to put concrete plans in place.
“We have had great support from fans renewing season tickets for next year but there are no other revenue streams coming in and if games are played behind closed doors next season, there won’t be. Is that a worry? Of course it is. It has to be.
“The challenge on the pitch will be the same, to have a squad capable of winning promotion.”
Reflecting on the 2019/20 campaign and Town’s lowest finishing position for 67 years, he added: ”There has been and will be a lot of reflecting on what went wrong because to finish 11th clearly isn’t good enough.
“We felt that if the season resumed, with key players coming back from injury and five home games, the top six was within reach but we only have ourselves to blame.
“We were in a good position at the end of January but our form over the last two months wasn’t what we would have hoped for or expected and that has cost us.
“We have to look at what we can improve on and use the hurt of now to spur us on to win promotion next season.”
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