Eastleigh boss joins John Pemberton in slamming National League over failure to postpone games amid coronavirus threat

Eastleigh boss Ben Strevens has blasted the decision to go ahead with Saturday’s National League game, claiming bosses ‘cared about money’.

Sunday, 15th March 2020, 12:48 pm

Six matches went ahead and six were postponed due to the coronavirus threat as the National League made the call not to follow the Premier League and the EFL in temporarily drawing a halt to the season.

It appears likely that those games will be the last played, with the league expected to bow to pressure and now follow suit.

However, Strevens whose side lost to Notts County on Saturday, said his players and supporters shouldn’t have been put into the position whereby their game went ahead, while grounds around the country were on shutdown.

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Eastleigh manager Ben Strevens.

"The reason National League games went ahead and the EFL games didn't go ahead and the Premier League games didn't go ahead is because whoever sits on the board of the National League cared about money," he said. "Simple as that.

"For the well-being of the spectators and it's not only players because they're young, fit athletes. It's nothing to do with that.

"It's the supporters who come here - and it's not only the supporters, we've got a kitman who is an old boy.

"I looked around today and there's stewards that are older. They're the ones that are most at risk from this virus.

"There's no way whatsoever these games should have been played.

"If the EFL are not playing them and if the Premier League are not playing them, then the National League shouldn't be playing them."

Pemberton, whose side drew 1-1 at Dover on Saturday, described the call to play the games as ‘stupid’.

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He said: “The meeting took four or five hours to go against the decision by every league in Europe. For some reason we played our game which is crazy.

“It is the knock-on effect of people it has on day-to-day life. We have players who have got young families, young children. It is stupid.”