More disappointing news arrived this week with the announcement that the News and Star were putting their sports team on “furlough”.
With the Coronavirus crisis starving us of live football we were relying on the Blues reporter Jon Colman to give us our regular ‘fix’.
Unfortunately Newsquest, who own the News and Star and many other local newspapers, decided to slash costs by putting a significant number of their staff on leave of absence with just 24 hours notice.
Although the government’s emergency job retention scheme is capped at £30,000, the publishers will pay 80 per cent of the total salary for all furloughed staff.
The decision seems out of step with the spirit of the times. The newspaper industry is facing a challenging period but many have pledged to support their local communities.
Jon Colman is an award winning journalist who is well known and respected for his knowledge of all things Carlisle United. How Newsquest believe this move will adhere them to the public, both now and in the future, is hard to understand.
Obviously, the financial challenges have become too much.
CUOSC want to wish Jon all the best and hope to see him back covering the Blues as soon as possible.
It could be a critical time for football next week with the powers that be set to make some difficult decisions.
The Premier League, EFL and Professional Footballers Association have agreed to work together “with a view to formulating a joint plan to deal with the difficult circumstances facing the leagues, their clubs, players, staff and fans”.
So far the decision to declare the season void below National League level hasn’t gone down too well. It is believed more than 30 clubs are ready to launch a challenge.
It is particularly harsh on our neighbours Workington – managed by ex Blues favourite Danny Grainger – who are in a strong position at the top of the Norther Premier Division One North West.
Will the top end of the football pyramid, with the vast amounts of money involved, also be null and void if the season is unable to be concluded?
Time is running out – with the current postponement of games until April 30 certain to be extended.
At Brunton Park the Blues will not be back in training until April 14 at the earliest. The club is in complete lockdown and implementing a work from home policy. However the media team are doing a great job keeping us up to date on the official website (www.carlisleunited.co.uk) and also on social media. The club is still contactable by phone and email.
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