Truro City Chairman and former England cricketer Jack Richards is not easily deterred but was completely perplexed by the Football Association’s decision to expunge or cancel the results of the Southern League 2019-20 season due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Richards was utterly surprised by the FA’s decisiveness on the matter. According to him, describing the decision as “disappointing” can be considered an understatement.
“These are difficult times and we knew there were meetings, but for them to say the season is being truncated or expunged. That’s an interesting word,” said Richards.
Truro had games in hand and could be getting some promotion when the pandemic caused the season to halt and later declared by the FA as null and void.
Richards said he has been through triumphs and a lot of failures in sports and business. He could simply write this off as another failure but he feels for the supporters, staff, and especially for the players.
“Some of our players have never won anything and they’ve been fighting hard. In Cornwall, it’s not easy. There’s a lot of travel. We’re desperate for success and a good level of the sport. This was an opportunity to be part of a winning team again”, Richards said in a statement.
Some great games in the season have already been played, and sponsors and spectators have paid. According to Richards, it would be better to just declare winners and losers rather than considering the whole season non-existent. After all, winning and losing are part of sports.
This decision by the Football Association has gained strong reactions due to its financial impact and loss of promotion for some teams. The FA may be facing some legal action.
Truro and a hundred more clubs already sent letters to the FA expressing their displeasure at the decision to invalidate the results.
Jack Richards is a former first-class cricketer and was born in Penzance. He started his career in cricket at Surrey. He played 8 Tests and 22 ODIs from 1981 to 1988. Amidst a successful career, he left professional cricket when he was just 30 years old.
He resides in Belgium where he runs a shipping firm and directs a recruitment and crewing agency. He is currently the president of the Antwerp Cricket Club and the head coach of the Belgium National Cricket Team.