Gosport boss Gale: I don’t want to start the new season without fans in the grounds

Gosport Borough boss Shaun Gale admitted he would rather the season not start until supporters are allowed back in stadiums.

Sunday, 16th August 2020, 7:29 pm
Gosport boss Shaun Gale. Picture: Dave Haines

But he conceded that may well be the case when the curtain is lifted on their Southern League Premier South campaign.

Borough began their seven-game pre-season friendly programme with a 2-1 success at Fareham on Saturday.

New signings Dan Wooden and Brad Tarbuck were among those involved, with Theo Lewis and a trialist on target after the hosts had taken the lead at Cams Alders through Casey Bartlett-Scott.

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As things stand, all of Gosport’s fixtures will have to be played behind closed doors because of the pandemic.

And it looks increasingly likely that Gosport could start the league season without supporters allowed to attend.

A date has yet to be confirmed for the Southern League start, but September 19 is a likely option.

It's a scenario Gale does not want to see happen, but he conceded there'll be no option if current restrictions remain in place.

In home friendlies and league matches at Privett Park, the club will still have to fork out for officials. And if they are drawn at home in the FA Cup, they will have to pay the away team’s travel expenses as well.

'I don’t think we want to get things started without fans in the stadium, no-one wants to play without fans,' said Gale.

‘It’s a difficult subject really.

‘At the end of the day, I’ve said it all along, there are more important things than a game of football - people are dying.

‘I love my football and I’ve been in it all my life, but there are more important things and Covid is serious and they’ve got to get it right.

‘But the other side of the coin, it’s very difficult.

‘We’re having to play friendlies at home and rightly so we’re having to pay officials to come. It’s going to cost us a lot of money and we’ve got no revenue at the moment - it’s been like that for five months.

‘That’s difficult and at our level running a club still costs money.'

Gale revealed Borough have received no funding support since lockdown was imposed in mid-March.

The club have even been unable to attract a main shirt sponsor for the forthcoming campaign given the bleak financial climate.

'We’ve had no help whatsoever across the board,' Gale admitted.

‘Sponsorship is tight and people don’t want to sponsor.

‘We don’t even have a main match sponsor on our shirts this season, which is sad really.

‘We’re not asking for mega bucks, but that money helps towards us running the football club.

‘In the current times I get it, people with businesses are going to keep it in their businesses.

‘There is a real positive buzz around the club, but it’s real tough times as well for everyone.'