Gary Johnson: Play-off teams may have to change in stands due to safety issues in changing rooms

Gary Johnson says play-off teams may have to change in the stands because of safety issues in changi

Gary Johnson says play-off teams may have to change in the stands because of safety issues in changing rooms Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK - Credit: Micah Crook/PPAUK

Torquay United manager Gary Johnson does not envy his counterparts in the future National League play-offs, as they grapple with Covid-19 safety protocols.

The Gulls boss says he might not be able to deliver one of his famous 'hair dryer' speeches!

All clubs are currently voting on proposals which would give play-offs the go-ahead, not just in the NL Premier but also the North and South divisions.

But Johnson, whose no-holds-barred sessions featured regularly in United's 2019 NLS Championship video, said: 'I'm hearing that teams in the play-offs might have to change in the stands, because of safety issues in the dressing-rooms.

'Can you imagine me giving the sort of half-time talk I gave at East Thurrock the season before last, but doing it in the stand where everybody could hear it?'

The latest NL Board proposals are being voted on by clubs, with a deadline of 5pm today (June 17).

They include points-per-game to decide on league positions, promotion and relegation and play-offs across the whole NL competition.

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It would mean United moving up from 15th to 14th under PPG, Barrow promoted to the EFL as champions, a second club going up through the play-offs and, because of the restoration of North and South Play-Offs, the likely relegation of three clubs - Chorley, AFC Fylde and Ebbsfleet United.

The resolution is expected to achieve the necessary 51 per cent majority, but Johnson pointed out: 'It definitely needs this vote to be done and dusted quickly, because there isn't a lot of time for these teams to prove that their stadiums can handle play-off games.

'There's going to be a lot of virus-protocol things which can be done at some clubs and can't be done at others.'