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“I think that it’s looking increasingly more likely that the current season will be finished.” Cheltenham Town FC’s Media and Communications manager Richard Joyce on how his life and the club have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic

Cheltenham Town Football Club are one of many teams who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with all areas of the club are facing an uncertain future. Parklife Sport spoke to Media and Communications manager Richard Joyce about how the club is dealing with life away from the Jonny-Rocks stadium.

“I’ve just been going through emails, following the latest news from the EFL, and I’m also putting together a content plan for the week ahead.” Said Joyce.

Understandably, Richard and his colleagues have had to find other ways of communication as the office doors at the Jonny-Rocks remain closed for the near future.

“I’ll be honest, it’s taking quite a getting used to. This way of working isn’t something that any of us are familiar with. We’re getting there I think! I guess it’s a way of utilising different forms technology to get our work done. We’re going to be setting up live video calls with some players next week, and also we are starting to use video conferences for meetings.” Joyce added.

Despite the worry that currently surrounds the globe, Joyce believes that the club have to remain positive going forward.

“In what was Cheltenham’s first video conference call in 133 years, I decided to wear a suit just to add to the occasion! I never normally wear suits to work, but I thought I would make the effort!” said Joyce.

With the EFL releasing two statements in the past month regarding fixtures, Richard Joyce believes that the season will not continue because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“I think that it’s looking increasingly more likely that the current season will be finished, given the wording that the EFL and ourselves at the club have put out to the supporters. I think one of the big problems is the uncertainty surrounding it all. No one knows what is going to happen, we’ve had two postponements and if you look at the fixture list, all ten of our games will have to be arranged at a later date which I cant see happening unfortunately. Said Joyce.

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For some teams finishing the season prematurely might be a positive move, for Cheltenham however, there is certainly still a lot to play for.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how different clubs respond. There will be a few teams who it means little too, but thats not the case for us. We do understand the situation that we are in, but it’s bitterly disappointing given our league position and the momentum that the team were carrying before things got worse.

“It is a worldwide pandemic, and there are certainly more important things to worry about other than Football. But we just have to move forward positively and hope for more updates from the EFL as they come.” Joyce said.

With Football and the majority of other sports at a standstill, no-one knows what the future will bring for the 92 teams across England. An update from the EFL is due to be released in the near future to keep supporters and the general public in the know. 

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