John Roper’s Preston North End Fans’ Panel: Gentry Day in July? Don’t rule it out!
As news came through on Friday morning around 11am that the EFL had suspended all games until at least April 4, my first thought was what am I going to do on Saturday?
Not the most appropriate first thought I know, but football fans are a breed of their own and the social aspect of the game plays just as big a part as the 90 minutes on the pitch.
In fact many say that the football actually spoils a good day out but that debate is one for another day.
I don’t think the EFL had much option on doing anything else but suspending the games and for me this is hugely more acceptable than playing games behind closed doors.
As far as North End are concerned the games affected are Luton (away), Cardiff (home) and Derby (home) although that is assuming that the worst is past by the time we are due to visit Huddersfield on April 4.
I, personally think that the coronavirus could still be very widespread by then and it would not surprise me if the suspension ran on for weeks after that.
The big question is, though, if the pandemic goes right through April and into May, how long will it be before the EFL say that the league table stands as it is after 37 games?
This would mean Leeds and West Bromwich Albion up and North End in the play-offs.
If we are still not playing by May 2, that will mean nine games will have to be played plus three play-off games before the start of next season.
So would the EFL cram them in over the summer or are we possibly in the play-offs now?
Maybe it is just wishful thinking on my part and of course the only priority is to keep as many people as fit and well as possible.
Football is not more important than life or death, in spite of what anybody says. Whatever the outcome, what will be will be, and there is no blame attached to anyone here.
It is unfortunate but I suppose on the upside, teams will be able to get players fit and this may well work to our advantage.
Anyway I hope to see everyone on Gentry Day at Brentford on July 25 in the baking hot London sunshine....you think I’m joking!