Colin Lee’s tributes to Bonetti and Hunter

Peter 'The Cat' Bonetti Picture: PA Images

Peter 'The Cat' Bonetti Picture: PA Images - Credit: PA

Colin Lee pays tribute to Bonetti and Hunter

Peter 'The Cat' Bonetti Picture: PA Images

Peter 'The Cat' Bonetti Picture: PA Images - Credit: PA

The COVID – 19 will have a huge knock on affect in Football for several years but before I give my views on how I think clubs and players are trying to manage the situation I would like to pay my respect to two professional footballers who I had the pleasure of meeting during my career.

Following a long illness Peter (The Cat) Bonetti, passed away on April 12. Peter made 729 appearances for Chelsea and made seven appearances for England. He was my goalkeeping coach at Watford FC (1990), a wonderful person and good friend.

Norman Hunter passed away on April 17, aged 76 after contracting coronavirus. I met Norman when I was a young player at Bristol City, highly respected, fantastic player and a great guy. My thoughts and condolences to both families during a very difficult time

LOCKDOWN FOR CLUBS: Having been the Chief Executive of Torquay United I can understand the financial difficulties facing clubs at all levels in football during this very difficult period.

Peter 'The Cat' Bonetti Picture: PA Images

Peter 'The Cat' Bonetti Picture: PA Images - Credit: PA

The biggest income comes from gate receipts, losing this income has created a situation that no club could have planned for, making it a nightmare for owners, management, players, staff and supporters clubs work to a frame work set out before the season starts.

With the outbreak of the Coronavirus and Lockdown, plans have been destroyed and new plans and BIG decisions need to be implemented in an attempt to safeguard their club.

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Clubs have different ways of generating money from various incomings. The lucky clubs are the ones who have wealthy owners who can bankroll this situation but for most there are few options available.

One option would be to ask their employees to take a pay cut or defer a portion of their wages to prevent mass unemployment and in some cases the loss of their football club.

The other option would be to introduce the Furlough Scheme which is designed to support firms that have been badly hit by Coronavirus. It will temporarily help pay the wages of people who can't do their jobs. To help companies retain them. Being Furloughed means employees are kept on the payroll even though they are not working. Businesses can claim 80 per cent of their employees' wages from the Government, up to a maximum of £2,500 per person per month before tax. The Company /Club can top up this pay if it chooses.

I believe supporters want to help their club during this difficult situation so I think clubs (commercial department working from home) should be looking into ways of involving the supporters in an attempt to raise funds to help their club through this unexpected and very difficult period. LOCKDOWN FOR PLAYERS: I would expect every player to have already received their training schedule. This would be a mixture of slow, medium and high intensity training to include strength and conditioning and Plyometric work.

Each programme would be tailored to suit the individual. Staff to be in contact on a regular basis and players to give feedback on their fitness and any other issues via email, Face Time, Skype etc. Diets would be monitored and adjusted if needed.

The fitness programme would be adjusted once the clubs find out when their next game will be played. One thing that is impossible to replicate is match fitness. I believe most players know the importance of staying fit but in this situation they will need to find a way of managing themselves, so regular contact and adjustment to the training programme to keep it interesting is vital to keep every player motivated.

If there's any positive coming out of this situation, it has bought time for the injured players to recover so when eventually this horrendous period ends most clubs should have a full squad of players to choose from PLEASE STAY SAFE AND RESPECT THE IMPORTANCE OF ISOLATION