ESP’s Posh columnist Phil Adlam is back with all the news from behind the scenes at Peterborough United…
Ah, 2020. If only we knew what a challenging year it was going to be, we would’ve done preparation, like booked another holiday or cancelled those workouts. After just under eight weeks away from the football club on furlough, I’m now back and looking forward to the start of the 2020-2021 campaign, which is scheduled to get underway in September.
It’s good to be back. In my absence, the team behind the scenes at the club have done a wonderful job during extremely tricky and frustrating times. The co-owners have been superb throughout and it just goes to show what a wonderful trio we have in charge of our football club.
So what’s changed since I’ve been away? Well, it’s fair to say the word ‘protocol’ is regularly used. I now know my average temperature, which is something that I can’t say I’ve paid much attention too in the past and there are plenty of online questionnaires to complete both for staff and for players to ensure their safety.
We’ve already played a pre-season game behind closed doors at Stamford and it was the first game I’ve seen live (apart from on the television) and the sanitising of the corner flags, goalposts and even the footballs takes some getting used too.
However, despite all of the challenges, we will do all that we can to get back to playing the game we love. But it’s fair to say that without the fans, it’s a different game and in truth, at the time of writing this column, we are unsure when fans, even at a reduced capacity, will be allowed back in football stadia.
We hope it will not be too long, but obviously as everyone knows, it’s a very fluid situation and things change every single day. Our challenge right now is to get our stadium ready for a game of football behind closed doors and the staff are working hard to make that a reality.
You don’t realise what goes on in terms of the upkeep of a stadium let alone anything else and four months without football has the same effect on a stadium that not cutting your hair in the same length of time has to the top of your head, it gets slightly over-grown.
The fans have been superb during this unprecedented time. From wavering refunds to purchasing season tickets for the new season, it has been nothing short of remarkable. You realise just how much the football club means to the community at a time like this.
Football is my life and I am sure it is the first love of thousands of people across the city. You never fall out of love with the team you support. We can’t wait to be re-united because right now it feels like that episode of Friends with Ross and Rachel. We have been on a break, but you just know we are going to get back together very soon.