Football at Christmas and New Year is always welcomed as a distraction from eating and other festivities but for me it is the Easter fixtures that I look forward to. Often promotion or relegation is decided over the long weekend and those teams that you have been watching in the Non League pyramid who have played many less games due to postponements for bad weather and or long cup runs catch some up and you see if their many fixtures are too much or they are good enough to climb into a promotion or out of a relegation battle. You also say farewell to the season and look forward to the new.
This year we cannot look forward as we wait to see how and when this terrible pandemic leaves us. Already there are some teams who have disbanded and others will follow not able to financially survive. Are local football teams going the way of the local pub, post office, store and church, hopefully not and communities will realise their worth in providing, exercise, entertainment, competition, hope and dreams.
The new season when it arrives will surely be the toughest yet, not on the field but in the committee and boardrooms trying to balance the books with diminished sponsorship, advertising and maybe volunteers.
All is now dependant on the Premier League as to when or if they restart and finish this season and how they conduct themselves. Wrong moves could dent footballs place in our sporting psyche. Having pops at young footballers to give up 30% of their income seems cheap when as Gary Lineker said they are not asking this of all high earners. But the League and Clubs must conduct themselves with dignity and with a conscience if it is not to be perceived that everything was actioned for greed.
I hope next Easter that the message of renewal will once again be in our thoughts and also for a new football season.