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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.
“We are putting plans together as much as we can to cope with different scenarios but as I said, it’s very difficult because of the uncertainty.

“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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ericclacton added 14:28 - Jun 11
Mmm interesting.

runningout added 14:35 - Jun 11
We were never in a good position. Sorry but I little confidence in Mr O’Neill. What have achieved with him being around

runningout added 14:36 - Jun 11
excuse my grammar

ITFCsince73 added 14:36 - Jun 11
Many clubs have furloughed players in L1 until some clarification from the EFL on plans for next season. It would appear ITFC have resisted so far.
Little old Southend put there top 6 earners on furlough as soon as it was available. On the request from the players themselves.
It remains to be seen what players of ours take this generous offer of help to the club they play for.

jabberjackson added 14:40 - Jun 11
I think I'd be feeling uncertain if someone as menacing as the man lurking behind him in the picture was that close

Pencilpete added 14:42 - Jun 11
We cant plan a p1ss up in a brewery when there isnt any uncertainty so god knows what a shambles itll be when there is

ollie_smith2001 added 15:29 - Jun 11
ITFCsince73 - if they weren't on furlough by close of play yesterday, they can't be put on to the scheme at all now.

Radlett_blue added 15:33 - Jun 11
As usual, Lee O'Neill says quite a lot without ever actually saying anything.

BeattiesBackPocket added 15:34 - Jun 11
Planning!?!? Since when have they ever stuck to any plans made? 5 year/point plan has been rehashed every season for the past 10 years, as did the promise of a promotion push under Mick and Lambert which when the former left told all the fans that was never the plan but just to stay up!

Suffolkboy added 15:58 - Jun 11
Simply well done to ITFC to date ; the whole ‘ corona ‘ episode has been handled with great care and with generous approach for the players and staff at large .
Every respect is due to ME and no doubt pretty well all ITFC are feeling currently grateful .
It’s very good to know just how many supporters are already committed to the ‘ Future ‘ !

FenboyBlue added 16:14 - Jun 11
Everybody's future is uncertain. That's part of life.

bluebare added 16:29 - Jun 11
simply plan to win the league keep the best of the squad and FFS get a left-footed C/H The rest is out of your control so control what you have and can

smellmycheese added 16:29 - Jun 11
Could save a few quid letting you go. What on earth is the point of you?

NthQldITFC added 16:39 - Jun 11
Behind you!

rgp1 added 16:53 - Jun 11
@ pencil Pete p1ss up in brewery is out of the question as they currently don't brew any p1ss!

BlueandTruesince82 added 17:03 - Jun 11
@pencilpete, get Green King back on the shirts, that will sort it

tractorboybig added 17:10 - Jun 11
In other words
" we are not investing in any more players and selling what we can, makes business sense"

ArnieM added 17:17 - Jun 11
...Just as we have that fantastic organisation, the EFL to rely on to make a speedy and appropriate decision regarding the resumption of 20/21 season then...….oh!

runaround added 17:47 - Jun 11
O’Neill is correct to be worried about the future of ITFC & football in general. Also to be worried about his stalker!

Gforce added 18:13 - Jun 11
Is that bloke in the background dolphin 😀

ITFCsince73 added 18:45 - Jun 11
Thanks for that Ollie. Like you, me and every other. I don’t know what happens in the ITFC accounts department from one day to the next....hence my last words of my post. “Remains to be seen”.

ITFCsince73 added 19:01 - Jun 11
Indeed if the club didn’t make use of the furlough support for the 1st team playing staff, lack of money to the club can’t be that much of a problem. Say 18 players on an average 3k per week, is 50 k+ per week. Add the coaching staff and Lambo to that.
Of course any employee, in any industry, can refuse to accept furlough and demand there full wage.
Which was the likely outcome.

backwaywhen added 19:32 - Jun 11
Surely the club have taken the furlough and then just topped up players salaries , win win , my firm did it as did many others .

billlm added 19:39 - Jun 11
All that can meen is sadly selling players to balance the books,

ITFCsince73 added 19:40 - Jun 11
back way when. So your conclusion, money can’t be a problem at the club.
Does your firm pay average 150k per year salaries?? Your conclusion costs me, you, and every other tax payer 2.5k per month. And the club about 10k per month, per player.
Where does the win win come into it?

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