Following the decision of the FA, Premier League and the EFL to suspend football in this country until April 30 at the earliest we are quite clearly in unprecedented times.
We have had our ups and downs here at Exeter City, even during my time at the club, but there has never been anything quite like this.
However, I would like to say that the thoughts of everyone at Exeter City are, first and foremost, with those who have been affected by the outbreak and that the health and wellbeing of our players, staff, supporters and the wider Exeter community remains our overriding priority.
The club’s charity arm, the CITY Community Trust is continuing to monitor how it can help the Greater Exeter area and to ensure that vulnerable people, and those at a greater risk from the outbreak of this virus, get as much help and support as possible.
In terms of the football, following discussions with the EFL, it is very clear that from all levels, from the Premier League to grassroots, that everybody is united in the effort to try and complete this season by the end of June or soon after.
However, as we have seen, by watching the news and the daily press conferences from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, this is an ever-changing situation.
I am still waiting for both my crystal ball and magic wand that I have ordered from Amazon to arrive, but without them we have to be agile in our approach and response to the advice we are receiving centrally in terms of preparing ourselves for when football might return.
It is, of course, still not very long ago when our football club did not have such luxuries in terms of its flexibility. It is still very fresh in our memories of when a game lost on a Saturday, due to a postponement, would mean we would have difficult in paying staff and players on the following Friday.
In many ways those difficulties, alongside our Trust ownership model, have put us in good stead to hold onto reserves to manage this current situation better than we would have done in the past, and better than some clubs can at the moment, but the reality is that whether it be one week, one month or one year, every club – despite their preparations – will be finding the current situation challenging.
In terms of the playing squad, they are continuing to work to their personal training plans and following guidance from the EFL these may need to be adjusted further. However, we have put all the necessary measures in place to make sure that the players will be fit, healthy and ready to go when football recommences.
We wish all our supporters the best of health and encourage them to keep washing their hands and following the guidance from the Government. We will look forward to welcoming you all back to St James Park when football returns.
We would like to thank you for your support so far this season. To be continued….