Former Imps Boss Wants Season Ended Now

Credit Graham Burrell

David Holdsworth was a controversial manager at City, arguably taking over during our lowest point in history, almost delivering an FA Cup tie with Liverpool and leaving with us no better off than when he arrived.

Personally, I found him quite engaging and he worked with his hands tied to a degree. Ok, not all of his decisions were great and his little black book had more chunks of dung in it than little gems, but history shouldn’t have him painted as a villain over the likes of Tilson and Sutton.

He’s currently employed as Director of Football at Carlisle United and he’s weighed in on the debate over the current season’s climax, believing that it should follow the example set by Belgium and simply finish now. Club Brugge have been named champions and current league positions stand in Belgium, which he believes offers clarity to clubs and players.

“They’ve come to a conclusion that it is the most pragmatic way and, for me, that is a very sensible decision,” he told BBC Radio Cumbria.

“It gives people clarify in terms of how they go forward, like contractual situations for players. Every day, I get agents telling me their players want to come to Carlisle. From mine and Chris Beech’s point of view, it gives us an idea of what we will have and not have.

“We’re trying to build the infrastructure and support him so he can bring in players, should the season get cancelled. From my point of view, I think that’s a very sensible decision but it will be given by FIFA and UEFA. It’s not just Europe, it’s worldwide, but I think that’s a very good decision.”

However, the Belgian season had just one game left before the play-offs and Brugge were already untouchable.

Some form of decision on the current season is expected today, although it’s highly unlikely that will be a final ruling. The likely outcome will be a further postponement of current fixtures, at least until the current situation in the country becomes a little clearer. There have been a number of options put forward as to how to resolve the situation.

One is cancelling the season, voiding all the results and starting again, an option our own club is vehemently against in all forms. That’s a view shared by Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony too, but there are also calls from key figures for this to happen as the only fair option. It’s also been suggested that a ‘points per game’ system be adopted, across either a whole season or based on current form, but that’s highly unlikely.

It would appear there is still a thirst for completing the season in some form or another, with behind-closed-doors matches one option. That certainly satisfies football at a higher level, where much of their income is TV generated anyway, but lower down the divisions it does present further financial issues, paying players and some staff, part opening a stadium but not generating any income.

David Holdsworth certainly feels ending the season now is an option, but that in itself presents challenges for clubs who are in relegation or promotion spots but with games in hand, either to get out of a drop zone, or to get into the top three of a division. A classic example would be Wycombe, currently 8th in League One with 59 points, but with a solitary game in hand on everyone up to Rotherham in second on 62 points. A win of any description in that game would give them enough points to finish third, a possible promotion spot.

What also of Tranmere, three points adrift in the bottom three with an inferior goal difference, but yet to play fellow strugglers Wimbledon one place above them? How could ending the season now be fair on them?

Sadly, there are things much more important than football right now, but with the nation locked up at home with little else to do but speculate and offer an opinion, it’s likely to be a hugely divisive subject no matter what is decided.

How do you think the season should be concluded?

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  1. Ok start shouting now.
    Why not cancel next season and roll over what is left of this season. Maybe start around Christmas time so give everything to get back to normal. No transfers just use it as an extention of this season. Will give clubs, and players time to get organized and playing together

    • I was thinking much the same thing. I can’t really see how anything else would be fair. There would be so many ifs and buts, clubs feeling robbed of promotion/survival. It could create a lot of bitterness and anger.

      So yes, finish the season, whenever that is, then try and work out what to do next season. At least that’s a level playing field.

  2. Holdsworth displayed even less passion and emotion than Appleton does, and that takes some doing.

  3. DH did his job in keeping the IMPS from relegation with his remit to HALFTHE WAGES AS WELL,IN that respect he did a god jo in the circumstance, UTI He did what he was signed for!!

  4. I agree that DH had to manage a nightmare situation. In our darkest time he helped us to survive and the revolving door of players at least added interest as the football struggled.
    There should be a “Super Season” that finishes this season with the drama of promotion and relegation with a minimal break moving on to a new season. One of the cups could be suspended for a season to make space for fixtures if needed. The leagues can work out how to manage transfer windows, parachute payments etc in such circumstances. They’ve got nothing much else to do.

  5. He did a decent job for us. Nothing to work with but kept us afloat. Better than his two predecessors x10.

  6. Definitely should finish this season whenever is safe to do so teams have put so much into this season that the teams at the top deserve to be rewarded likes of Liverpool, Leeds, WBA,Coventry etc.

  7. As suggested above – I’d support re-starting the 19/20 season in Jan 21 when everything will hopefully be more settled. If there is the opportunity to start sooner, then perhaps re-vamp the formats of the League Cup and Checkatrade Cup (or whatever it is now) and play a 20/21 version of these to a conclusion before the league re-starts

  8. Sadly I don’t think there’s a single solution which, will satisfy all clubs and supporters. With that in mind I believe the fairest way forward is to call this season void and that teams remain in their present leagues for next season.
    I can’t see finishing the season in front of crowds or not, being a realistic option as it’s most unlikely that the arrangements to combat coronavirus will be relaxed early enough to allow this to happen, other sports have already called off major events as far ahead as July and beyond which shows they are taking a more realistic approach than the football authorities.
    I understand that some teams may be disappointed particularly where they top their leagues but, quite frankly in every case bar Liverpool there’s hardly another club in automatic promotion places who with 10 or more games to go are guaranteed promotion and to in effect stop the league now and say that the teams who currently sit in the automatic places, plus the first play off position should go up is patently unfair to many other teams who are in with a shout.

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