The Corona Era

Jen Kelly – a.k.a. Cheshire’s Revenge / The Word Nerd – brings ilovemacc her own take on the highs and lows of The Silkmen

The streets are deserted.

Doors are locked, pubs and bars are silent. The only life in sight is a mangy cat, drenched from the cold rain and bedraggled from the bitter winds, running for shelter.. Humanity huddles indoors, checking every channel for the latest infection statistics and death toll from around the globe. The London Marathon, the Rugby Six Nations, air travel – all cancelled. 

And then football fell…

The last time top flight football faced something on this scale was in 1939, at the start of the Second World War. 81 years later, it’s a very different type of threat that we’re facing as a species. 

Covid19, oooooh Covid19….

There was an air of inevitability that came with the news that all elite football would take a three-week hiatus. After a few days of kerfuffling from Number 10, it seemed that the people in charge of the footballing world had decided to take the proactive approach for perhaps the first time in their existence. The cancellation seems like the sensible thing to do when you consider what is going on across the globe, and it seems to have forced Boris’s greasy hands into conceding he might have to follow suit.

“Bleurgh, give us a kiss….”

It is already being suggested that three weeks may only be the tip of the iceberg, and we could be facing the very realistic prospect of a much longer break. Understandably, people from across The Pyramid are expressing concern at how this will affect clubs and the wider economic climate as a whole. The truth is that at the moment we don’t know how this is going to play out. Unlike the Hollywood disaster film that we all seem to have been cast in, there are no spoilers available.

Closer to home, the long-suffering fans of Macclesfield Town let out yet another collective sigh of frustration. Having joked that Amar’s next excuse for non-payment of wages would be the Corona Virus, it turns out it could be the very thing that finally kills us off as a club. There are 9 games left until the end of the season, 5 of them at home. Assuming the season is suspended beyond the current three weeks, we’re staring into the abyss with no magic money tree to grab from. Granted, the income was massively down already, and yes, what little money that was coming in was likely disappearing into an Ibiza-sized hole. But this is another level of turd, one that no shovel can get us out of.

So what, dearest reader, can we do?

That’s the Blitz spirit…

In reality, not a lot. The latest rumour doing the e-rounds is that Joe Sealey has turned on his heels and legged it. And really, who can blame him? After months of negotiations that must have been comparable to trying to get an angry toddler to put his shoes on, Joe must be wondering what the hell he’d gotten himself into! And if the challenge of making the MTFC books look even remotely legitimate wasn’t bad enough, the prospect of a club with no income and no games to play must have sealed the deal for him. The task of bringing us back from the brink was already a tough one; with the forced shutdown, it has become almost impossible. 

An actual image of Amar, mid-negotiations…

But we must carry on. Our first thought in all of this should go to the employees of the club. With many mixed messages floating around about pay and provisions, we need to make sure each and every Silkman and woman is being looked after. The hardship fund is a great start, and hopefully the powers that be will announce some key measures to stop the rot among the poorer clubs. We don’t realistically know how long this will last, and there is a very real possibility that the 2019/20 season could be completely abandoned.

But of course, it’s only football isn’t it? And when there is suggestion that up to 500,000 people could die across the UK, why should we even care about our national game? Why should we worry that the season will be chalked up as ‘imperfectus’ and resigned to the history books as the one that got away?

Katherine Lucas puts it better than I ever could in her article in The Sportsman yesterday:

The game proved, as it does today even in its absence, an escape for millions during the most traumatic of times. And as Jurgen Klopp put it today, it remains the most important of the least important things.

Katherine Lucas, Sportsman. 13 March 2020

Football is an escape for a large chunk of society. An escape from the stress of the daily drawl, and a chance to feel involved in something bigger. Once that escape has been removed, along with all other forms of mass participation and light relief, what are we left with? Instead of studying the latest game stats, we’re counting the number of infections each day and looking at graphs predicting the spread of the disease. Definitely not as much fun, is it?

So let me leave you with this. At a time where we’re genuinely facing something utterly terrifying, it’s hugely heart-warming to see a little bit of happiness in the world. And the Italians, currently on full-on lock down and weathering the storm that is heading our way, provided just that this week:


Look after yourselves, look out for those more vulnerable than you. Put the toilet roll back on the shelf and keep your head. Take inspiration from these singing Italians; keep smiling in the face of it all.

Never has our unofficial motto been more relevant than it seems to be right now….


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Jen Kelly, aka The Word Nerd

“The Word Nerd: For everything you wanted to know about MTFC, and some things you didn’t…”

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