Vines talks double-whammy
Vines talks double-whammy

As the Covid-19 crisis continues to have a stranglehold on football and other sports the financial implications begins to hit home for clubs and players alike, many of whom face a double whammy of running their own business too.

KSN caught up with a player who falls into this category – last season’s top scorer in SCEFL, and Chatham Town Club captain – veteran striker Paul Vines.

Paul has a young family and has a good larger family unit around him – brother Joe the assistant boss at Cray Wanderers – as well as running his own decorating business, so in light of all the announcements made this week, we started by asking Paul just how worried he is by the current position.

He said, “Obviously it’s always a concern when family are possibly at risk and we are trying to be as careful as we can as my wife is currently 8 months pregnant. The struggle between going to work to provide for your family and being mindful about contracting/sharing this virus is a tough one because without any precise information we don’t know how long this is going to last for and the financial implications of it are already going to have quite an impact on many. So, between that and us all going stir crazy it’s challenging for sure.”

SCEFL was one of the last leagues to suspend their fixtures and so the Chats played K Sports last weekend. Vines admitted, “I think at the time all of the boys were in the mindset that we had a job to do so concentrated on that alone. We generally have a good atmosphere unless there has been an under par performance as between us players and the management team we have set high standards and that’s the reason we are still in the race at this point of the season.

“I was a little bit surprised of course that we played because such a noise had been made of it all with it trickling down from the Premier league but on the flip side kids were still in school and many offices were open still and they were saying that the numbers at these levels weren’t yet “cause for concern”

“I think the financial ramifications had a lot of managers concerned and understandably so but at the end of the day there was no choice but to choose health over wealth. It’s going to have a real kick back on clubs and many individuals, but a call had to be made and whilst it was a tough one it was the right one, I feel.

“Of course some clubs are in trouble as a result, but like I said the money that has already been ploughed in for the upkeep of many clubs and the money that many staff and players sometimes rely on may just no longer be there so it’s definitely a worrying time and I hope that everyone comes out of it as well as they possible can.

“Hopefully there is the opportunity to get this season completed, from the outside people may not realise how much time and work is dedicated to a football club from the top to the bottom. I’ve never played a game behind closed doors before but I’ve had a few one man and his dog type crowds so I wouldn’t see it as an issue myself although everyone loves playing for a good crowd and down at Chatham our fan base has been growing and has become a real integral part of the set up so obviously they would be a huge miss.

“We have all been asked to tick over for the minute whilst we await an update on the situation, obviously with the social distancing it’s made it a bit more difficult to do any group work but once we know more definitively the gaffer will have a plan of action in place as he doesn’t do things by halves so no stone will be left unturned I’m sure.”