Canterbury City chairman Tim Clark: I remain hopeful of a good return to football in 2021 and the club pushing forward

Tuesday 22nd December 2020

Canterbury City chairman Tim Clark has issued the following statement:


“Christmas messages are normally easy to start off. I can reflect on what has happened on the pitch and within the club over the last 12 months. The high, the lows etc etc.

The truth is, it has been an unusual year and mainly for the wrong reasons which are out of everyone’s control.

One thing that hasn’t suffered has been the commitment from all attached to the club. The backroom staff, the management teams and the players.

We are looking to progress in all aspects of the club and I was getting excited at the thought of what we could achieve.

I have no doubt the first team will find a settled and competent squad.

Our reserves will continue to have players ready to make the step-up when required. We have a youth set up challenging for good things. We also have an exciting ladies team producing good performances and results.

There are other aspects of playing which we can’t wait to have involved in playing in, as near to normal circumstances as we can get it.

Football has changed and is now facing a lot of uncertainty. Of course, everybody wants it to be played and we have to find the right way to do so. We have to trust that the Leagues that we compete in take above all the health and safety of everyone involved in making football possible at our levels.

I am sure as with other clubs, much has been discussed behind the scenes. We are no different and have to take into account everybody’s wishes and concerns.

It could be argued that during the first lockdown and leading up to the second, very few people knew anybody that had been affected by Covid-19. Now we find ourselves finding it more than common with either people at our work places or children sent home because of contact with others.

The daily numbers tell a story, and as much it doesn’t seem to be improving at the moment.

What we do need to remember is that football at our level is secondary to many. We mostly all have full-time occupations and players are not under contract.

Nobody should feel under any pressure to attend or perform against their wishes. We don’t have the same testing systems as top-flight football. Every football match sees over 35 people involved, these are certainly not from the same bubble.

To that end, myself and other club officials have made the difficult decision to not attend fixtures of any kind whilst the County remains in Tiers Three or Four. These are very much individual decisions based on personal circumstances and as such will vary from person to person.

We must all do what we feel is personally right for us in unprecedented times, particularly as a more infectious strain of the virus emerges. 

I can’t advise or tell anybody to do the same, as I said before there is no pressure from me to do so. If anybody has any concerns or doubts, they should in confidence have a conversation with their manager or any club official.

Our duty of care is for the Health and Safety of anyone involved within Canterbury City FC.

Of course, with these decisions it makes other matters slightly more difficult. But what is football without obstacles! We won’t allow any teams to suffer and will always have discussions with any Leagues we are involved with.

We will act as much as we can within the guidelines, but it is important to remember these are guidelines and not directives. I am aware that refusal to play could lead to discussions of removal from competition as has been made aware to me. I, of course, want to avoid that, but I also want to avoid 30+ families having to isolate after each game of football.

Due to the unprecedented high number we are witnessing in the County, that is more of a possibility now than it has been in the last six months or so.

I remain hopeful of a good return to football in 2021 and the club pushing forward. I further hope that the club can provide good news in the progression of facilitating our own stadium.

Although the pandemic has put a halt to people being in actual offices, I can assure everybody that hard work behind the scenes has continued.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I look forward to seeing you all in 2021 in better circumstances. In the meantime, stay safe and well.”

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