COMMENT: Raiders get what they deserve and so, too, will all those out of control

WHO would want to be at the English FA and RFU these days?

A promotion jig: Guernsey Raiders coach Jordan Reynolds. (Picture by Martin Gray,, 27850168)
A promotion jig: Guernsey Raiders coach Jordan Reynolds. (Picture by Martin Gray,, 27850168)

More massive decisions lay ahead for both organisations and where Guernsey FC and Raiders ply their football and rugby next season will be the least of their worries at this time.

I strongly suspect, though, that the English lower-level football and rugby club scene is going to look much different come the next season and both the Island flagship teams will have done well to survive the coronavirus-forced cull in the coming months.

It’s sure to come. It has to and, do you know what? Both sports may be a lot better for it in the longer term if it brings some sanity to these dozens of sub-elite teams who for far too long have believed that money grows on trees or some mug somewhere will pay for what should, ultimately, be mostly about fun, not earning an extra few quid to supplement the day job.

Sporting ambition and professionalism has long got out of hand in UK team sports and this is likely to be the time it all comes crashing, having an impact all the way through the entire pyramid that exists in both these main winter sports.

The big question, though, is how much the playing field will alter for Tony Vance's and Jordan Reynolds’s sides.

The impact on sponsors and businesses who prop up many of these sides is sure to be massive. Debts will be called in and the capacity to borrow on hope vastly reduced.

Clubs at Isthmian South East and National Two level are likely to go to the wall and in the levels immediately above and below them.

In football terms I’d lay good money on Jersey Bulls gaining their well deserved promotion as clubs above them cease to exist.

Yes, it will seem like the end of the world for those diehard officials and fans of clubs up and down the land who no longer have a club to follow religiously and often blindly, but for far too long they have been asking for trouble and in the spring of 2020 it has presented itself with a capital C.

You’d like to hope that not a single Island sport or club will cease to exist because of this health and financial calamity, but you have to wonder and some short-term bailouts may be required as cash-flows grind to a halt in clubhouses across the island.

As for Raiders, who have cleverly and astutely raised their game and utilised more and more self-developed talent, they will be already anxiously looking at the increased costs of jumping back into National Two.

In the past, they would have needed vastly more players to offset the physical demands of a higher level, but it just may be that the whole picture changes on resumption.

The Raiders treasurer will be hoping so.

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News