AS I mentioned last week, coronavirus is the word all around and things are getting much more serious day by day

If we can concentrate on the sports side, one event after the other is being cancelled and, of course, football’s postponement has been extended until the end of April – the equivalent of six fixtures.

Had they been played, there would have been just three left to complete the season so how the nine are going to be played will be impossible in that short time.

The season will now be extended, and it’s hoped clubs can start playing again.

It could be that two games a week are played. Managers wouldn’t normally want this, but we have bigger squads now.

One of the suggestions that puzzled me was when it was suggested games could be played at neutral venues. Where this would help I don’t know.

Neutral venues could mean playing one game instead of home and away but, having said that, there will surely be no fixtures left where teams haven’t already met at least once.

Obviously, the delay in games is affecting the smaller clubs much more than the Premier League sides.

Barnet are the first example, where they have had to sack 60 members of non-playing staff.

Their main income is on matchdays and I can understand, having been at that level in my early career, how devastating this will be, not just for the players but also the backroom staff.

My suggestion would be for the Premier League clubs to help out, and I know they aren’t all making money as Saints’ accounts recently showed, but with due respect, the television money will more than cover every club’s season.

I would suggest that each Premier League club contributes £5million, giving a total of £100million, to be used to help clubs like Barnet in the other divisions so that we can continue with our 92 as and when things get right again.

I believe the National League are looking for help off the government and it’s absolutely crucial this support is given to clubs like Eastleigh.

As far as television money is concerned, with no games being screened at present and nothing for newspapers to cover, it must surely be a massive headache all-round.

I had a thought about the Daily Echo, for instance, why not give you, the readers and supporters, the opportunity to have your name in the headlines.

Why don’t we start having a competition where supporters can send in letters, for instance: quoting the best team they remember seeing; the best player they remember; the best goal scored; the best cup tie and things like that.

Maybe the editor could be persuaded to give a prize for the best of the week or something like that because I, like all of you, like to read the newspapers – not just about Saints but the sport in general.

Because news regarding transfers, sackings, hat-tricks, managerial changes and teams in Europe will all be stopping due to coronavirus, it will be good to have something like this to keep everyone interested.


I WAS looking forward to possibly meeting up with the England squad who were due to play games at Wembley later this month as Gareth Southgate, the manager, had chosen Saints’ training ground, Staplewood, to be their base for the week as they had obviously been impressed with the facility on their previous visit.

That has been called off and more and more sporting events have suffered as well.

Looking for some good news, whilst women’s football, to me personally, has never been in with a chance of really taking off in England, which is something I’ve said before, but because of the recent successes in national games and the more and more publicity it’s getting, it was good to see the Saints women’s team, who aren’t at the top level, have 5,000 fans turn up for an FA Cup game.

They also have an amazing record of going a whole season with a 100 per cent record wins, so full marks to Marieanne Spacey-Cale for building a great team and for creating a real interest in our area.

But also, well done the club for announcing they will be increasing the investment to help the women’s team become even stronger.

Hopefully, in the next season or two, they can be joining in with the big guns.


BEING of the older generation, I have been glued to the TV about the affect coronavirus is having on different age groups.

I am lucky in so far that I can walk around a little bit outside the house to get fresh air because people of a certain age have been told not to mix and mingle with others.

I often wonder how people living in a small apartment or even those who are on their own are handling things and I hope they are being supported.

My wife and I were totally overcome with a little note that was pushed into our letterbox from a nearby neighbour we had never really met, saying: ‘In this uncertain and tricky time, we want you to know that we are here if you need any help, support or just a comforting chat’. How wonderful is that?

We are lucky that we have family in the area who will help if we need it, but other people are not so lucky.

It would be wonderful if younger people could do what our neighbour has done and help the older generation if it’s needed.

Stay safe.