04:55PM, Monday 16 March 2020
Maidenhead United manager Alan Devonshire has branded the National League a ‘disgrace’ for allowing his side’s clash with Stockport County to go ahead despite the current threat of coronavirus.
While the Premier League and EFL have taken the necessary measures to minimise the spread of the virus by postponing all games, the National League played on with the Magpies hosting one of the six matches played in the division on Saturday.
A crowd of 1662 flocked to York Road and passed through the turnstiles to get their football fix on a weekend of little sporting action. But the decision to do so is something many are advising against including Magpies boss Devonshire.
At full time, the 63-year-old expressed his bewilderment and anger of the National League’s decision to have matches go ahead despite the risk of spreading coronavirus.
“F**k football clubs,” he said.
“This is about people’s lives and how we were playing today, I do not know. We’ve had 1600 people in here (York Road) today. Someone could go home and give their nan a dose of this coronavirus, how’s he going to feel if that happens?
“There’s other leagues being sensible but we’ve probably got four or five people walking around in here that have probably got it. The National League is a disgrace and they are mucking around with people’s lives. It’s not about football as far as I’m concerned. It’s about the welfare of human beings. Football is second to what life is.”
“My mum is 88-years-old and I’m worried sick about her,” added Devonshire.
“I go round and see her everyday. I have to look after her and see if she’s okay and if she now gets it because one of us gives it to her, I have to live with that.
“They (the National League) made us play. Maybe I should’ve lied and said someone needed to be self-isolated. Maybe I should’ve phoned in to say I wasn’t feeling very well but that’s not us or what we do.
“We’ve left it up to the National League to deal with and they’ve let us down big time. The powers that be have dealt with this all wrong.”
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