MANAGER REACTION: Grainger on FA’s decision to void season

“I’m gutted for my players, gutted for the club and gutted for the fans because it’s not what they deserve after the season we’ve had.”

A dejected and devastated Danny Grainger last night gave his reaction to the Football Association’s decision to null and void the 2019-20 Northern Premier League season.

The announcement came with no warning yesterday afternoon and was a sucker punch to clubs like ourselves across the country.

“It’s just really disappointing,” admitted Grainger, who was on the verge of promotion as a title- winner in his first ever managerial campaign.

“I think about all the hard work these boys have put in, not only on the pitch as playing and coaching staff, the efforts around the club, from the volunteers to the fans, just to for it to be taken away from us.

“First and foremost, obviously, everyone’s health is the most important thing in life and that’s not something we’re trying to get away from to say football’s more important.

“Everyone needs to be staying safe and we echo the messages of everyone else, but as regards to the football side of it, this is a hard day for us to take.

“Especially after it not being a sweeping decision across the board, right from the bottom to the top. That’s going to be biggest disappointment.

“You work so hard, to have your reward taken away and teams at the bottom get a second chance because they’ve had a bad season.

“It just doesn’t seem right to me to be honest.”

Borough Park will have to wait another year to see Reds try to get back into the NPL’s top division, despite being 10 points clear at the summit of the North West table with seven games remaining.

Various teams higher in the footballing pyramid are still verging on promotion and may suffer the same cruel fate if things are made equal – but Grainger isn’t wishing any pain on other clubs.

“I hope it’s not [null and voided in all leagues] because I don’t want it to happen to teams who’ve worked as hard as us.

“I’ve got a good relationship with Ian Evatt at Barrow and I know how much work has been put into that squad and club to get where they are,” he stated.

“There’s no reason why we couldn’t have restarted the season two or three months down the line.

“I understand there’s ins and outs, contract implications, but I hope it isn’t swept across the board because the feeling we’ve had today is absolutely gutting.

“It’s a real hard one to take and I don’t want other people to have put all the hard work into it for it to mean nothing.

“I hope other people get the reward they deserve because we don’t deserve to be sitting here waiting to start the season again from where we are.

“If they’ve made the decision to do it now, they should’ve said it now that it’s across the board, but what are we meant to say?”

On social media, our first-team vented their frustrations that COVID-19 has ultimately been the cause of, and their boss knows how much it meant.

“The lads have jobs, they’ve come away from work early to Tuesday night games and given up their salaries to come and play football for a little bit less money and things like that.

“They’ve shown that commitment simply because they want the reward of being successful and they’ve had that taken away from them.

“All the commitments and sacrifices we make in football are for one thing – to be successful. And today, we’ve had that taken away from us.‬

“I’m gutted for my players, gutted for the club and gutted for the fans because it’s not what they deserve after the season we’ve had.”

Football at our level will have to move on despite financial uncertainty and Grainger did look ahead to the immediate task at hand.

“There’s not a lot we can say. We’ve got to regroup, get ready for the next challenge and that’s all we can do,” he explained.

“I don’t see it being overturned, I know teams are looking to appeal and if you start doing that, it’ll open the gates for other clubs.

“All we can do it knuckle down, get through this bad patch and hopefully, everyone stays safe through this terrible time and we can start looking forward to the football season.

“There’s not much good news going around so for us now, it’s just a case of being ready for the next challenge which is trying to get promoted out for this division next season.”

Finally, Grainger reiterated that he wanted pass on a message of appreciation for all of the support that had been shown this season for both on and off the pitch matters, something which has not gone unnoticed by everyone at the club.

We look forward to seeing you healthy at Borough Park soon. Take care and stay safe.

Comments (1)

  1. weathered robbo
    weathered robbo

    An incomplete but Brilliant Season. I just hope that you and the squad stay together, stay strong, safe and go again next season whenever it starts.

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