Coronavirus: FA have made an incredible decision to call off season says boss Bartlett

PUBLISHED: 10:00 29 March 2020

Weston manager Scott Bartlett after their last league match at Dorchester Town in February before Thursdays annoucement by the FA to call off the Football season. (Picture: Will.T.Photography

Weston manager Scott Bartlett after their last league match at Dorchester Town in February before Thursdays annoucement by the FA to call off the Football season. (Picture: Will.T.Photography


Weston manager Scott Bartlett feels the Football Association have made an “incredible” decision to call the season off due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday’s announcement by the FA to expunge all results expunged and no promotions or relegations, has been met by disappointment from clubs all over the country in steps three to seven.

Whilst many of them feel aggrieved by the lack of communication and many finding out though social media, Bartlett, despite agreeing that all football should be suspended, voices his concern about how the campaign ended.

“The league and FA have made an incredible decision to terminate the league,” begins Bartlett.

“It is obviously the right decision to suspend football for while or for as long as it takes to tackle the global pandemic, but no one can persuade me that next season should begin without this season being finished properly.

“There would have been a way around player contracts, our players for example would have deferred wages until we start back if we needed to.

“Realistically, we are talking six weeks to complete the current season, we were prepared to do it and we had the most games to play.

“I don’t see how the two options of points per games or null and void is fair on anyone, there were just too many games played for it not I count and too many points left to play for in my opinion.

“I was hoping we could have waited and finish off this season fairly and then whoever is top, middle and bottom deserves to be there.”

However, all matches in the Premier League and EFL have been postponed until the 30 April prompting Truro City’s manager Paul Wotton to come out and say the FA have treated lower leagues differently to professional sides.

Bartlett said: “I can see his point and he’s probably right, he will be upset because his side would have been one of two that I felt had enough to win the league with ten games to go.

“I think he has handled himself brilliantly given the situation.

“The first to decide should have been the top top leagues and then that should filter down.

“I think the FA have allowed the Southern league to dictate and that comes after little or no consultation to the clubs.

“It’s all part of a much bigger picture and peoples live are a stake so everything I am saying needs perspective, but it is a frustration that we didn’t wait a little while, if clubs can’t survive a few weeks without a game they should not be paying the wages they are paying in my opinion.”

When asked what he would have done differently and how to make it fairer.

“I just think it could have been postponed until things are back to normal again, giving us the chance to finish it off properly,” Bartlett added.

“It looks as though the government will cover 80% of salaries while the players cannot work which gives football clubs some breathing space and it was then up to the league(s) to find a solution.

“Of course though that would only apply to the clubs that operate within the rules and pay their players in the correct way.

The 20/21 season could have started later with a reduced games programme to accommodate.

“For football to work properly, wherever your own club sit within the pyramid it should be aligned to the other leagues.

“In fairness, that may end up being the case but right now the national league, the EFL and PL are still trying to find a solution so it’s not joined up.”

Despite every result and goal scored scraped from the history books, Bartlett, who came back to the club for his second spell after managing Forest Green Rovers’ Academy last summer, says the campaign will live long in the memory.

“We all know what happened because we were there, We felt the emotion, the disappointment and the elation with our supporters during the season,” Bartlett said.

“I remember every game I played in and my club disappeared for two whole years and reformed with a different name, football can be a strange industry at times.

“In a bizarre way though this season will be remembered the most because of the unique situation we are in.

“We are disappointed but upbeat and I’d like to thank everyone for their support this season.”

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