Thu, 19 Mar 2020
HUNGERFORD Town manager Ian Herring admitted that ‘football becomes secondary’ in light of the coronavirus, which has affected most sporting events across the world.
The National League did allow games to be played last weekend, but since then they have made the decision to suspend all fixtures until at least April 3.
With uncertainty about what happens next, Herring felt the National League organisers had to make a quick decision.
Speaking after the announcement, Herring said: “It’s what the National League could and should do following the government guidelines because it’s a serious situation and people have got a lot of worries.
“It’s not just on a health perspective, but a financial one too and football becomes secondary at this moment in time.
“We have to take responsibility and follow the government advice.”
The Crusaders boss is, however, aware of the impact it will have on many clubs around the country.
“Hungerford are one of many clubs up and down the country who have contracted players that still need paying.
“Clubs rely on the gate money which isn’t going to come, so in all honesty who knows what will happen? It’s a case of living day by day.
“It’s a unique and new situation and we have cancelled all training for the foreseeable future.”
National League games were among the few that went ahead last weekend and, despite heavy criticism from some managers and supporters, Herring felt it was right to play on.
He said: “It is work to a lot of us and nobody has told me to stay off work in my day job.
“What I would say is that with social media everyone has a right to their opinion and everyone can voice it.
“But let’s be honest, none of us are experts in the situation and it’s new to the experts.
“I am happy to go with what the government guidelines and what their advice is because they are being advised by the best experts in the land.”
The Crusaders hosted Bath City at Bulpit Lane, but were narrowly beaten 1-0, ending their unbeaten run of three games.
“The game has hinged on one mistake,” he said. “It’s hinged on two moments really because a minute before that we had a one-on-one chance which we should be scoring.
“They went up the other end and we should have dealt with that, but we didn’t for whatever reason and we gifted them a goal on the stroke of half-time.
“Bath were hard to break down and we didn’t create many clear cut chances, but we got into a lot of good areas.”
Although many local sporting fixtures took place last weekend, sport will be closed down for the foreseeable future.
The local football, rugby, hockey, netball and table tennis leagues have all been put on hold until they have been told it is safe to resume playing, while horseracing in the UK has also been stopped.