Sheffield FC column: The general mood is that the season should be ended immediately

In terms of football on the pitch there is obviously not much to tell and it is now over three months since we played a competitive fixture.

Monday, 1st February 2021, 4:11 pm
Action from Sheffield's friendly at Handsworth.

There was a suggestion of a return to action in December and at one stage we did organise a behind-closed-doors friendly against Handsworth with their league due to resume the following weekend.

In the end the Tier restrictions on travel and spectator numbers made it impossible for us to restart and then the January lockdown ended any hopes.

So the big question now is ‘what happens next?’ The FA have surveyed all clubs from Steps 3 to 6 of the National League system and hopefully a decision will be made soon.

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The earliest possible return would be next month although I think the general mood is that this season should be ended immediately, particularly with so much uncertainty likely to continue over the next few months.

Finances are a concern for everyone right now, including businesses and supporters who have paid for sponsorship and season tickets. Clubs can only make statements and decisions for the future once we have some clarity, which will hopefully arrive soon.

It is also proving to be a testing time for the players too of course.

Manager Gavin Smith told me: “The lads just want to get back training and playing games.

"We are keeping in touch by sending them training schedules, Jamie (Yates) is doing a Zoom quiz with a few lads each week and we also have a counsellor who has given players and staff individual slots to do Zoom meetings.”

As for his view on what should happen next?

“My opinion is that the season should be cancelled, teams need the support of fans and until they are allowed back into the grounds there is no point continuing. Until we get told the season is over, we will continue to keep our fitness up though.”

From our perspective, having only played six league fixtures at this stage, it would make sense to just void the 2020/21 campaign and attempt to start afresh in August.

It would be frustrating to see this happen for a second consecutive season and I can see the argument for carrying results over though.

Some clubs are pushing for a points-per-game resolution which I am not in favour of. We may be the only side to ever win an FA Cup tie on the toss of a coin but, for me at least, football should always be decided on the pitch!

Despite the lack of playing action there has still been plenty of activity taking place around the club.

Work has been going on to launch a new website and an improved membership scheme. We have also teamed up with Copa to produce a kit range that should be coming soon and looks fantastic.

Meanwhile, good progress is being made on our ambition to move to a new ground back in Sheffield. With the support of our partners at the Sheffield Transport Club and Sheffield City Council things are looking extremely positive at the moment.

Obviously, with a development like this, there will always be twists and turns in the road but I have seen some plans for the site which look amazing.

If everyone can come together and deliver on the project it would be a huge boost, not only for our football club but for the whole city as a genuine tourist attraction.

*Sheffield FC, who play in the eighth tier of English football, was formed in 1857 and has been recognised by FIFA as the world’s oldest football club.

*For more information about Sheffield FC visit www.sheffieldfc.com and follow @sheffieldfc on Twitter.