Is it feasible that this season could be played out to a conclusion?
Stoke have 9 fixtures left to play so that’s a months worth of games at least, if by some kind of magic this virus runs its course by the end of June then it’s quiet possible to get the last game played on August 1st.
This would allow time for a break till September 5th for the new season to start. Only 4 weeks behind schedule, though none of the teams would have premseason games & fitness camps. The lost time can easily be made up during the season.
Problem lies if the season doesn’t start till after June 31st. Is it’s possible to carry on the season to a finish or does the FA risk the incoming law suits from the likes of Liverpool, Leeds & WBA. Some other problems coming into play if the season goes beyond June 31st & that’s players contracts.
Those who’s contract ends on that date would be within their right to not play beyond that date for their current club, loan deals to would end so could leave football clubs squads light in some areas.
The FA, Premier League, EFL and women’s professional game, together with the PFA and LMA, understand we are in unprecedented times and our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.
The FA’s Rules and Regulations state that “the season shall terminate not later than the 1 June” and “each competition shall, within the limit laid down by The FA, determine the length of its own playing season”.
However, The FA’s Board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019/20 season in relation to Professional Football.
Additionally, we have collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than 30 April
Michael O’Neill was interviewed On the podcast “At Home with Colin Murray”
“There is a common thread between my three jobs (Shamrock Rovers, Northern Ireland and Stoke), the three situations, and believing that you can do it. People always say you don’t get jobs when the team is doing extremely well and that’s probably been the case.
“I perhaps underestimated a little bit how Stoke had been affected by relegation, spent a lot of money, didn’t challenge to get promoted and then were in a difficult place at the bottom of the league when I took over.
“I didn’t realise maybe things were as bad as I thought and perhaps underestimated how difficult it is to win games in the Championship as well. I thought you could go in and win eight out of 10 games. That’s very difficult! The norm is to perhaps win five out of 10 and that’s perceived as good form. There are inconsistencies within the league and how the teams are.
“It’s a massive challenge but I believe I am capable of improving what the current situation is at the club.
“In the long-term – there would obviously be a huge satisfaction in taking the club back to the Premier League – but the immediate future is about fixing what’s wrong at this minute in time. The experiences I’ve been through, I think, will help me do that.”
Press conference with Michael O’Neill for the Reading game
How did you find the Fans Forum?
It was good on Monday night. It’s the first time I’ve done a Fans Forum in a club sense for a while. There were a lot of interesting and challenging questions. It was an enjoyable evening.
Onto the game, it’s an important week
All three game weeks are important. We go into it in good form. It’s about maintaining that momentum. It’s a chance to add to the points tally.
Joe Allen’s operation went well & he is already back in the gym working on his upper body. He’s in good spirits. James McClean will still be unavailable for this Saturday & we have a concern over Sam Vokes.
Does having Joe Allen missing cause the team a problem.
I believe we have players in the squad that can cover for Joe Allen, though we may have to change tact slightly
What’s was your thoughts on the U18 game versus Man City
It was good to see the U18s game on Tuesday. They played against a very good Man City side. I felt they were a little unfortunate to be behind in the first half. I felt the scoreline was a bit harsh in the end. There were positives to take from the game.
Well Saturday’s game pits Stoke against the bloke who was instrumental in bringing Kevin Wimmer to Stoke. Pity he doesn’t want to take him to Reading to sort out their defence.
Reading were have a good season right up until Mark Bowen signed a new at the club, over night that great season halted as they have only won 4 of the 14 games since. It amazing how many times this happens. Stoke have faced Reading 51 times before with the results been spread evenly between the two side
Stoke wins 18 Draws 16 Reading wins 17
Over the last ten games versus Reading though Stoke have only won 2 games, Stoke are unbeaten in the last 6 games drawing the last 3
John Swift is having a great season & is one of the top rated midfielders in the league averaging a 7.2 rating via who scored for the season, Swift has 10 assists to his name with a great solid footballing name George Puskas scoring 9 goals this season. Don’t forget Charlie Adam is on Readings books and would love another chance to show he’s still got it
What do you expect from the game on Saturday, last weeks 5-1 win over Hull was vital but didn’t give us room to breath with the form of Wigan keeping us in the battle. Luckily Charlton & Hull have dropped like a Stone and seemed destined to join Barnsley in league one next season unless they can halt their slumps quickly
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