This brief article is not about any kind of pathetic, petty point scoring. It’s just a few hundred words about perspective and priorities, as the Coronavirus sweeps across the face of the earth, squeezing the life out of thousands upon thousands of victims.
As the pandemic gathers pace we’re all having to adjust to a ‘new normal’ in our daily routines. Football, like many aspects of our lives, has to take a back seat. No, forget the back seat – football isn’t even on the bus.
Covid19 is everybody’s new reality, with a palpable and all-pervading fear, engulfing all facets of society. It’s a time when actions will speak louder than words – just ask Jack Grealish! It’s a time when people will be judged by their new priorities during a crisis, one unprecedented in the modern age.
It’s a time of huge uncertainty, of not knowing if, how and when what is being called ‘The Invisible Killer’, can be slain.
The one thing it most shouldn’t be is a time for avarice, malice and a ‘self, self, self’ mentality – you know the kind of shitty practices of those hoarding all the bog rolls and the hand sanitizers.
When we eventually have a vaccine to rid the world of this murderous mutation, there will be those in our communities whose hands will forever remain sullied by their contemptible self-serving greed.
Those who choose malignant and ill-judged paths – instead of walking towards those in need – will be held up to the light for scrutiny. Such a damning indictment will certainly extend to the not so beautiful aspects of football, reputed to be The Beautiful Game.
As far as our club is concerned Sheikh Mansour, Abu Dhabi and City are used to being vilified by rivals and a mass media, all too happy to peddle anti-City propaganda, irrespective of the truth. Thankfully those truths will eventually be heard, but they sure as hell are not a priority in the midst of a pandemic.
In the present desperate climate of the loss of lives and anxiety caused by Covid19, City is doing its part to try and help.
I offer no spin on anything other than to state:
Sheikh Mansour is the patron of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company ADNEC - which own the ExCel Centre in London - now the NHS Nightingale Hospital, set up to treat Covid19 patients. As far as I am aware, the NHS is not paying ExCel for the usage of the facility.
City has opened its doors and made the Etihad Stadium available to the NHS for free usage during the pandemic.
Pep Guardiola has given €1m to help combat the coronavirus in Spain.
City has paid all of its casual workers up to what would’ve been the end of the 2019/20 season.
City are ringing elderly season ticket holders to check on their well being, with staff chatting to fans who number among those most vulnerable to the corona virus.
City has contributed 50% to the £100,000 donated to help food banks in Manchester.
Hopefully the club and the playing staff will step up and do more in the coming days and weeks, as we have yet to witness the worst effects of the Coronavirus.
Yes, some City fans have been vociferous on social media, complaining about direct debits being taken for the final instalments of payment for the 2019/20 season tickets. Why? This money will be refunded or deducted off the future price of matches, if fixtures are declared null and void or, alternatively, played behind closed doors.
Yes, these are difficult times, but lest we forget City offer fans these interest free 10 month instalment plans to ease the pressure on paying to see some of the finest football in the Club’s history. Until the relevant football authorities decide if the season will be played to a conclusion, everything is up in the air.
Rather than criticise one aspect of the club amidst all the good, let’s take a step back to take a measure of pride in what our club has, and is, doing during this time of crisis.
By David Walker
Dedicated to Eddie Large, a Super City Blue, who passed away today – taken by the Coronvirus. A lovely and kindly man, Eddie would have us laughing back in the days when it was so much easier to cry – the days when City really were sh*t! Thanks for the laughter through the lean years and so many tears. Hope you and Big Bernard Manning are cracking a joke or two in Sky Blue Heaven, with a dream in your hearts. RIP Eddie.