Torquay Utd Gary Johnson ‘pleased they are all still talking about finishing season’

Gary Johnson, manager of Torquay United Picture: Micah Crook/PPAUK

Gary Johnson, manager of Torquay United Picture: Micah Crook/PPAUK - Credit: Micah Crook/PPAUK

TORQUAY United manager Gary Johnson says that football fans everywhere are longing for action to return when the Coronavirus lockdown is over, and the game's authorities should foster that hope by keeping the current season alive as long as possible.

Johnson was speaking after the Vanarama National League, whose previous suspension was due to expire this weekend, extended their season indefinitely from Tuesday.

Torquay still have ten games left in their NL schedule.

The Premier League and the English Football League (EFL) have suspended their campaigns until April 30, but no one expects 2019-2020 to restart then either, and the prospect of league football in May, June or even later is being widely discussed.

'There is no change really from our league's latest statement,' said Johnson. 'They probably know that the EFL are going to have to move their date back again, and I am just pleased that they are all still talking about finishing the season.'

Johnson, who is still making 'Are you OK?' calls to scores of 'lockdowned' older Gulls fans, went on: 'If there is one message I'm absolutely getting from chatting to those supporters, it is that they're missing their football badly and they desperately want it back.

'We have got to keep that hope going, both for the players and keep them fit, and for the supporters.

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'I think we owe it to the fans to do that.

'If, at the end of the day, it may not be possible to do it, for reasons which we can all imagine, then people will understand.

'But I don't see a reason why we can't go through to the middle of August if we needed to.

'Of course, there are a lot of issues, mainly financial, to be sorted out, especially for League One, League Two and National League clubs.

'But we're all well aware of that.

'What we don't want in my view is to call a halt before we have to, and then find out later that we could have finished the season after all.'