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Barking boss Gardner feels season should have gone on once it was right to do so

PUBLISHED: 13:13 01 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:13 01 April 2020

Barking manager Justin Gardner during Barking vs South Park, BetVictor League South Central Division Football at Mayesbrook Park on 7th March 2020

Barking manager Justin Gardner during Barking vs South Park, BetVictor League South Central Division Football at Mayesbrook Park on 7th March 2020

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Barking manager Justin Gardner believes the season should have been resumed once the coronavirus pandemic came to an end due to the hard work that has been put in.

Michael Dixon of Barking is denied by Craig Bradshaw during Barking vs South Park, BetVictor League South Central Division Football at Mayesbrook Park on 7th March 2020Michael Dixon of Barking is denied by Craig Bradshaw during Barking vs South Park, BetVictor League South Central Division Football at Mayesbrook Park on 7th March 2020

The Blues sat ninth in the Isthmian League South Central table with nine fixtures left to be played when play was suspended last month due to the pandemic.

A meeting was held late last week and a consensus was reached between the FA and leagues at steps three to six in the National League System to end the season with immediate effect, with all results being expunged.

“First of all I would like to say health comes before anything and to stop the season to help people to get better and for this virus to stop spreading is something that is paramount,” Gardner said.

“It should be the priority, I agree with the lockdown and all those things, so I want to make that quite clear. But I totally disagree with the season being stopped and made void.

“I want people to understand I’m not saying football is more important than people’s health, I’m saying when this has cleared whenever that date could be.

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“Whether it’s six months time, a years time or even two years time, I feel that the season should have been resumed and played from there and then the following season could be continued after that.

“How can you cancel or void a season that is almost 80 per cent completed in favour of a season that has not even started yet?

“I totally disagree with that decision. As I said the season could have been completed in a month maximum when they could have resumed.

“And if you really want to condense it you could have made teams play three or four games a week.

“Say come July or August we’re all free to go back out into our daily routines, then why couldn’t the season be completed then? Then just shorten the pre-season break or start the season in September.

“For me it should have been finished, it’s quite disappointing that anyone I’ve spoken to don’t seem to want the season to finish, so I would love to know where this decision has come from.”

He added: “Let’s make this clear, we’re not a club sitting near the top of the league and saying this because we’ve been cheated of promotion.

“Yes, we’re in a good position with an outside chance of making the play-offs.”


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