The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Could not connect to football server

20 March 2020

In a move that wasn’t entirely unexpected, the authorities yesterday announced that football will have to wait until the end of April before it can come back out to play. The decision, while clearly sensible, doesn’t answer the questions that have been circulating for a week now.

The majority of us agree that the season should be concluded by playing the games that remain. It’s only fair and right that this happens. Making it happen is the challenge, though — but no matter how difficult this is, it must be preferable to simply voiding the season, or deciding that titles, promotions and relegations should be confirmed as league tables currently stand (which, your West Yorkshire Diary is glad to see, is something the Football League are trying their best to avoid).

It’s now almost certain that if we are to conclude the season by playing games of football, it will go beyond the end of June, which means players like Harry Davis, Jake Hessenthaler, Elliott Whitehouse, Max Wright, Jordan Cook, Charles Vernam, Ahkeem Rose and Billy Clarke won’t be able to represent us, unless they agree an extension — however temporary — to their contracts.

The same goes for our loan players and short-term signings, like Bradley Garmston, Anthony Glennon, Josh Benson and Elliot Grandin. There will be a lot of decisions for every football club at every level to make over the coming weeks and months — more so than usual.

It’s all rather messy and of course there are more important things in life than football. But there are plenty of people out their whose livelihoods depend on football and it just goes to show that this virus really doesn’t give a shit about who you are, where you come from or what you do. We’re all affected by it, whether we get it or not.

The threat of abandoning the season entirely will exist for as long as the resumption of this season keeps getting pushed back. And that slightly forced sentence does its job of allowing me to mention the two abandoned Town matches I’ve attended in person since I started going to games in the mid-1990s.

The first was actually my second ever Town game. A friend of mine was mascot for the visit of Sunderland in the 1993-4 season and the game was called off after six minutes of players splashing in pools of water that laid hidden on the pitch until the floodlights caught their reflection (or until Steve Livingstone slid 20 yards and ended up crashing into touch).

The second was at Rochdale, on New Year’s Day in 2005 if I recall correctly. It’d been a pretty wet day and the first half was played in driving rain. But the deluge that came at half time was something else and word soon got out that the referee had decided to abandon the game during the break — a decision that I’m sure was made easier by the fact that it was 0-0.

I believe we lost both those games when they were replayed. That’s so Town.

Let us know your stories of abandoned Town games, or those called off when you'd already committed to travelling. There won't be a prize for the best 'hard luck' story but you'll most certainly get our sympathy and respect.