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Jackett's Sympathy For Neighbours

Boss hopes non-league sides come through coronavirus crisis

1 June 2020

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Kenny Jackett
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

The ramifications of football’s enforced lockdown will be felt through all levels of the game.

Pompey, like every other club, are currently without their main source of income due to the coronavirus pandemic abruptly halting the season.

And Kenny Jackett has expressed sympathy for their non-league neighbours, many of whom could be left in a precarious position.

With supporters unlikely to be allowed into games for a while yet, it removes the opportunity for revenue-generating friendlies.

Pompey’s annual trip to Westleigh Park to face the Hawks is one of them, but Jackett hopes the teams will meet again.

The Blues boss said: “I have a lot of sympathy for the likes of Havant & Waterlooville, given the outstanding season they were having.

“After being relegated the previous year, they looked in a good position to go back up to the National League. That might not now happen.

"I do feel for them and other clubs at the moment, with football at that level seemingly in hibernation."

Kenny Jackett

“The friendly we play against them every summer is a useful one that brings both clubs – and their fans – together.

“It’s a traditional game, but also a competitive one for us. It attracts a big crowd and is an enjoyable occasion.

“I do feel for them and other clubs at the moment, with football at that level seemingly in hibernation.

“But our friendly will return at some point – whenever that may be – and I’m sure they’ll come back stronger.”

Pompey are still waiting to hear how the League One season will conclude, with an answer possibly arriving following an EFL meeting next week.

Jackett said: “We could be looking at a ‘new normal’, but football will return – there is no doubt about that.

“It might be with some rules, regulations and formats being changed and everyone will have to adapt to that.

“The country does seem to be coming to terms with the virus, though, and there will be plenty of enthusiasm when the sport resumes.”

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