FC Halifax Town: Wild calls for clarity from the National League on what happens next

FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild has called for clarity from the National League about what happens now after fixtures were suspended.

Thursday, 19th March 2020, 9:20 am
Football - FC Halifax Town v Woking at the MBI Shay Stadium. Town Manager Pete Wild.

It was announced on Monday that all National League games were being postponed until April 3, in line with the Premier League and Football League, but Wild says there are many unanswered questions about what happens next.

He said: “We had (players lined up) but bringing them onto the wage bill when there’s no football - let’s talk practicalities here. Bringing more players onto a wage bill that’s at its peak already is just not feasible.

“We’ve requested from the league their stance on the registration date being next Thursday, and as soon as we have that clarity we’ll either crack on or we’ll keep them in training with us and see what happens.”

Another of the issues the club have sought calcification on regards players contracts.

“That’s one of about five questions that’s been sent to the league - when do players’ contracts end, and what if we come to end of May, their contract’s over and they go and sign for a rival?” said Wild.
“We don’t think that’ll happen but we just need clarity from the league around what is their stance on that situation.”

When asked what else the club have asked the National League about, the Town boss said: “Will we restart on April 4, if so and a team has the virus, what happens to that game, can we start rescheduling fixtures with the April 4 date being the start point.

“They’re all questions that, at the moment, nobody knows the answer to.

“We’re hoping by the end of the week we can get some clarity on everything and that’ll help shape our thought process going into next week.”

Town’s players have been told to train at home this week after their fixtures were suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Halifax are scheduled to return to action at Dagenham and Redbridge in just over two weeks, but after the government issued advice this week for the public to avoid unnecessary social contact and travel, a longer suspension period could well be announced at some point before then.

In the meantime, Wild has cancelled training at their base in Weetwood.

“After government advice changed, we decided to leave the players at home this week,” he said.

“They’ll all have individual programmes to follow from home and home gym sessions. We feel that’s the best scenario.

“I’ve spoken to probably 15 local football clubs to ask their opinion of what they’re doing. Some of our staff work in rugby league as well.

“We’ve decided that’s the best course of action and then that’ll be reviewed every Sunday and decide week-by-week what we do with the players.”

Wild said none of his players had displayed symptoms of coronavirus.

“Nothing’s been reported to me,” he said. “Anyone who does has to report it to me straight away. Fingers crossed they don’t.”

Wild admits he is as much in the dark about what will happen as anyone else.

“As I’ve been saying over the weekend, let’s follow facts and take opinion out of it,” he said. “Our opinion doesn’t matter.

“The government changed their advice and we’ve got to follow that. As and when they decide things can be stepped down then we’ll go with it. That’s what we’ve got to do.

“They could extend the season, we just don’t know. But I don’t expect a decision this week.

“I’d like to think there’d be a decision on the Monday of the April 4 game, or even before that if possible, to tell us whether we will be training.

“The last thing you want is to get them back in, start training and then you’re told ‘it’s off again’.

“The earlier the advice is, the better.”

Wild doesn’t believe the season will be cancelled altogether though.

“I can’t see that happening,” he said. “I firmly believe there’ll be a conclusion to all football because there’s too much ambiguity, who teams have played, teams haven’t played the same amount of games.

“There’s no way it’ll be cancelled in my opinion.”