Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer believes there’s ‘too many hurdles’ to finishing the current football season.
He’s long been a passionate name of the game, and that remains true of the Addicks boss. Speaking to TalkSport, Bowyer gave his passionate verdict on the season, on how and whether to finish it, saying:
“My honest opinion? I just think there are going to be too many hurdles. I just think there’s too many barriers at the moment to say that we’re gonna get back playing because we won’t be training in the middle of May like what they’re saying – that’s never gonna happen.”
The EFL last week told clubs that they can finish the season within a 56-day period of it resuming. Their plan was to have teams back in training by mid-May, with a couple weeks ‘pre-season’ so to say, before finishing off the campaign.
“Say we start playing again in June, the lads are then going to be going home to their families who might have met someone, or players who have had it are then going to mix with people who haven’t had it,” continued Bowyer.
“We don’t know how people are going to react, we don’t know if people are going to want to come and play. We’ve got a couple of players at our place whose wives are pregnant, and when it first happened they said, ‘sorry, we’re not training because our wives are pregnant’.
“And what do you say – ‘no, you have to come in and train?’ You can’t do that! There are so many details nobody is thinking about.”
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The whole situation has many facets and many alternative outcomes to consider.
Being near the end of the season though, we’ll soon be approaching the standard contract expiration date of June 30th – clubs have proposed that all contracts should be extended, but no concrete plans has yet been detailed regarding that:
“It’s just not going to happen, I can’t see it, and then if you’re not finished by June 30 you’ve got the contract problem,” said Bowyer.
“I hope we do and I hope I’m wrong, I really do. If we’re playing behind closed doors, football fans are part of it, if we have to do that to finish the season then great, we go ahead.
“But we’re still gonna have the players in contact all the time – it’s a physical game, it’s a contact sport. You’re not gonna be doing that in two months time, not with the way this virus has struck everybody.
“Look at Norman [Hunter], people are losing their lives and then what, you’re just going to allow football to carry on? I just can’t see it.”
Over a month has passed since the last football was kicked professionally in England, and we’re no closer to finding a solution. Finishing the season has been the priority but as more time passes, the likelihood of all teams playing their remaining fixtures shortens.
Whilst Bowyer believes that finishing the season is an unlikely outcome, managers at the other end of the Championship believe it’s imperative. Charlton sit in 22nd and if the season finished today, they’d be relegated.
He’s obviously fighting his side’s corner – as he should – and he makes some good points. It’d be a huge U-turn if the Championship season weren’t to finish after so much debate, but as we near the summer, it’s becoming all the more likely.