Gary Johnson: Cash help welcome but won’t make up for absent fans

Torquay manager Gary Johnson. Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK

Torquay manager Gary Johnson. Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK - Credit: Micah Crook/PPAUK

Finanical help from the Government is very welcome, but it won’t make up for Torquay United’s absent fans, says manager Gary Johnson.

National League clubs are waiting to hear how much they will receive after news of a ‘critical emergency package’, to help cover lost revenue through closed grounds, emerged ahead of Saturday’s kick-off to the 2020-2021 season.

But the deal has cleared the way for the league to start, as well as the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, which takes place this weekend with NL North and South clubs involved for the first time.

“The good thing is that there is definitely a game at Plainmoor on Saturday,” said Johnson.

“We thought it was 99 per cent certain because of the vibes we had been getting about a package on the way, but we can totally focus on the games coming up now.

“But the biggest present will really be when crowds are allowed back in grounds.

“Our fans mean a lot to us, they are a big help to us and it’s not the same without them.

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“I like to think they are good football people - they know when to scream and shout, when to boo sometimes, and they know what picks their players up.

“We don’t know how they are going to distribute the money yet, and I’m sure the FA Cup, with the worry that some clubs could not afford to play, was a factor.

“But I am just so pleased that there is going to be a deal, and it is well received by all clubs in the National League.”