McKimm hoping football recovers
McKimm hoping football recovers

Tonbridge Angels were left reeling this week as after what seems an age trying to get Longmead fit to play National League home games, the League imposed the suspension that has now covered football and many other sports!

Boss Steve McKimm has been talking this week to KSN about the decision and what happens next – he told us, “Everyone’s going to have their own pros and cons over the decision. Health is the most important thing – I want to play football; my players want to play football but at the end of the day you’ve got to think of the health side of it!”

“We can only do what we’re asked to do; when we’re asked to play football we do it providing the players want to do it and I would always put it to them because at the end of the day, their families are more important than kicking a piece of leather about – they’ll always have the option!”

“Last Saturday they all agreed to play, and they went out and did what they had to do. Now do I agree with the decision about playing football on Saturday? Probably not because all the Leagues above us were cancelled – I think if one was cancelled, they all should have been cancelled.”

“I don’t believe that FA should have come away from it and allowed everyone do what they want the individual Leagues want to. The FA should have stamped their authority – they should have said either “all football’s on” or “all football’s off” because everyone is in the same boat with the virus.”

“I don’t know how… No, I do know – the National League wanted to play whilst the “Bostik” League decided not to – whereas I believe it should have been done overall by the FA I believe.”

“It is a tough one as you’ve got to look after people’s health. Is playing a football match going to kill people? It could do because of the fan-base who come and watch as we’ve a number of the older generation come to our games.”

“It’s a difficult one and is a question that will keep going on as people will have different avenues of answers for it. They’ve finally come to a decision now and we’ve just to obey by it until things are up and running again, be it this season or next season.”

“It’s their decision and we’ve got to stick with it – it’s down to them (the authorities) now to decide what goes on in terms of promotions if there is any – League positions – it’ll be a tough job, but if this doesn’t clear up – and I don’t think it will do in the near future – they are decisions that they’ve got to make!”

“It’s a decision one hundred percent that I’m glad that I don’t have to make – the devil they do, the devil they don’t; its one of those! Some people are going to be happy the games are called off; some will be unhappy.”

“All you can do is to follow the guidelines from the Government – I’m not a politician, but the Government and health ministers know more about this situation than I do – we’ve all got our views on it; these are the so called experts! You ask them to manage a football team and they probably couldn’t do it – we’re in their hands and so we’ve got to follow what they say whether they’re right or wrong!”

One of the big problems of course facing all our clubs and not just the Angels is what to do during the suspension as they struggle for their very existence.

McKimm told us, “It’s something that I’ll be sitting down with the Chairman. I think that football’s been stopped primarily for the mass gatherings more than anything so training may not be a problem, but if you organise friendlies, you’ll get quite a few people attending because there’s no other football around and that defeats the object of cancelling games.”

“That said, the Club doesn’t run on thin air and the players don’t play for thin air. We’ve got to come up with an agreement from now until initially April 3rd when we may play, but the players have still got to be paid.”

“The club will have no revenue coming in – I really don’t know where the players stand! We’ve always paid players all the time I’ve been at the club – injuries or not – it’s just something that I’ve always done.”

“But this is a majorly different situation! I’ve got to sit down with the Chairman, I’ve got to sit down with the players, and we’ve got to see where we go next. There are a lot of options that can happen – I’ve got players who understand the position that the club are in at the moment for one reason or another where we haven’t had any home games.”

“But one thing is for sure these players have always been paid! I’m positive that there will be a bit of leeway with them in terms of the monetarises that they get and resolve it to the best situation will be for all parties.”

“As long as people just abide by the rules that they’re being told to – hopefully we can get back out onto the pitch as soon as possible, if it’s not this season then next season. Football will live long on – if you have a fatality then your life’s gone, and you can’t bring that back – you can always bring a game of football back!”