The epidemic has almost paralyzed the entire European football system. How should the five major leagues that have not yet ended have ended? Until now, there is no clear answer. A team like Liverpool that almost locked the league title ahead of time can only lament the unkindness of fate.
However, giant teams at least have a certain right to speak, a news that "this season's Premier League results are invalidated" can definitely make fans around the world fry. And those small teams from low-level leagues really "do not deserve to have names."
On March 27th, Beijing time, the Football Association announced that all leagues at and below the 7th level in England ended early, the results were cleared, and the relegation was cancelled.
The complex amateur leagues with full participation have always been the proud capital of English football. For thousands of small teams, such a simple and rude decision made their efforts for a season in vain.
Worthing FC, which happens to be in the 7th league, originally ranked first with a 7-point advantage, but there are only 8 rounds left in the league, and there is almost no suspense in upgrading. But now, everything is back to the starting point.
Worthing’s boss, George Dowell, vented his dissatisfaction on Twitter: “Imagine that you have spent 5 years wholeheartedly for a team, invested countless hours and money, when you and your companions When we were about to achieve our goal, we returned to the pre-liberation overnight, which was really hurtful."
"There is nothing to say, do you dare to do this to Liverpool!?
Despite the severe situation, the FA has its own difficulties. But if you understand the story of George Dowell, you can definitely understand why he is so angry.
In April 2010, 17-year-old George Dowell had just entered the Worthing FC first team. A few days later, on the way home from McDonald's by car with a friend, the four of them were in a car accident and the car crashed into the field from the highway. After waking up, George found himself lying in the hospital. What's more frightening was that his body was unconscious.
He suffered a fractured spine and never walked again. The other three people in the car were almost unharmed.
George has no ambition to become a star, he only hopes to be a semi-professional player, while playing football while finding a job to make a living. His ideal career is a firefighter, because firefighters work in shifts with 4 days off and 4 days off, so they have plenty of time to play football.
However, even this simple wish was ruthlessly deprived.
"After listening to the doctor's words, the first thing I thought of was'I can't play football anymore', but this is the only thing I want to do. What should I do next?"
However, after talking with some patients who had suffered spinal injuries, George realized that his life had not come to an end. It was also during this period of bed rest that he had a new plan for the future.
"After not being able to play football, watching football became a painful thing, so I began to pay more attention to the coaches and staff on the sidelines, and also started to play the "Football Manager" game. Friends and me Say: When you recover, you should also form a team."
Before that, however, George had to defeat himself. "I am used to life in the hospital. After I return home, I don't want to go out at all. I am worried about how people will look at a person in a wheelchair."
After spending 2 years overcoming psychological barriers, George formed the "Worthing City Football Club", using the name of his beloved mother team. As the team grew, the stadiums in the park could no longer meet the needs of training. George planned to use his car accident compensation to build a new community stadium.
At this time, from his friend’s father and Worthing Youth Team assistant Calvin, George learned that his mother team was on the verge of bankruptcy and could only last a few more weeks at most. He quickly realized that this was a golden opportunity.
George informed Worthing's senior management of his willingness to invest and build a new stadium, but he put forward a condition: the club must be fully controlled by himself.
A hairy boy suddenly became our boss? This makes Morty, the old chairman who has worked for Worthing for more than 50 years, unacceptable. He only wants George to invest, and he does not want him to become the owner of the club.
But George's sincerity finally touched the elderly Morty. He understood that the child was not a fool, so he agreed to sell 70% of the shares to George. Before bidding farewell to the club, Morty told him: "If I change to another person, I will never agree."
However, persuading the club's top management is not the most difficult problem. When George told his mother that he was going to buy a team, his mother's reaction was: "Are you XX kidding?"
But in the end, the family chose to fully support him. They understood that their children could not play with their fingers in a wheelchair for the rest of their lives.
In this way, 22-year-old George became the youngest club chairman in Britain. When the opportunity appeared before his eyes, the child with disabled legs grabbed it with his own hands.
The first thing George did when he became the boss: layoffs.
"Their ideal is that I bring money and a new stadium, and then let them continue to receive salaries in their positions. But I understand that the club is on the verge of bankruptcy for a reason."
"It's not just how bad their work is, but the club needs a new look. I spent money, and of course I have to reuse people I trust."
Among Worthing’s veteran employees, George finally retained only one financial director and Calvin who matched himself, and the rest were composed of volunteers. Later, he found a friend who had taken care of him while in bed as a personal assistant.
However, operating a club in reality is obviously more complicated than "Football Manager".
"In the first week I just came, I thought there was nothing to do. Later I realized that there were too many troubles."
"You need to keep in touch with the league officials, you need to be responsible for the safety and health of everyone, as well as the mess of broken light bulbs and blocked toilets."
"Someone will complain to you, "Why this XX is broken again", I thought, "You don't even know how much work we have done this week." "
In addition to streamlining the troops, another important decision George made was to fulfill his promise to build a new stadium.
He invested in the construction of a brand-new 3G stadium (referring to the third-generation turf technology stadium) for use by the entire community, which provides an important source of income for the club.
"The older generation opposed me building a 3G stadium, saying it was not as good as natural turf. But now they all understand that the club can survive only in this way."
"Now we don't have to worry about the weather anymore when we play football. It has become the center of the entire community."
In addition to the venue, George also refurbished the main stand of the stadium and transformed the messy old tavern nearby into a bar. Business is booming from noon to night every game day.
The improvement in economic conditions quickly brought about an improvement in athletic performance. In less than a year, Worthing was successfully upgraded from the 8th league. This season, under the leadership of the head coach and former Brighton player Adam Hinsherwood, the team has created the best result in team history in 134 years: 21 league games have been won in the first 34 rounds, 71 points are far ahead. The number of goals is also the most in the league.
What makes George even more happy is that the team's youth training has also made great progress under his rule. More than 40 young players have won the first team chances. Among them, the 18-year-old goalkeeper Carl Rushworth (Carl Rushworth), who is on loan from Brighton, has been investigated by Barcelona scouts for his outstanding performance and is also very hopeful to be selected for the England U19.
让乔治更加高兴的是，在他的统治下，该团队的青年训练也取得了长足的进步。 40多名年轻球员赢得了一线队的机会。其中，从布莱顿租借的18岁门将卡尔·拉什沃斯（Carl Rushworth）因其出色的表现而受到巴塞罗那球探的调查，也非常希望能入选英格兰U19。
It has always been George's dream to set up a community club and give local children a chance to compete. In his words: "I don't want to spend a lot of money to buy 11 players directly from London to make a starter."
George's arrival turned Worthing Sparrow, who was once in debt of 200,000 pounds, into a phoenix. Many people compare him with Glenn Tamplin, another famous amateur league boss.
Who is Templin? The British steel tycoon bought the 7th league team Billericay Town in 2016 with an investment of more than 2 million pounds. Not only did he build a new stadium for the team, he also signed Pennant and Conche. Ski, O'Hara, 3 former Premier League stars.
But the reason why he became famous was the following strange operation: he appointed himself as the head coach twice, and fired himself twice because of unsatisfactory results and complaints from players...
In the 2017-18 season, Billy Lecar finally won the league championship (not Templelin himself) and successfully promoted to the Southern League (the sixth league). Templin made a huge graffiti on the wall outside the team's home court with great fanfare, especially highlighting his "savior" image.
However, in the past five years, three companies under Templin went bankrupt, and he withdrew from the club in September last year with heavy debts.
George didn't want to be the second Templin. "Before they upgraded, we played against them. There are always people who ridicule and say: You should also paint yourself on the wall. But I would never do that."
He really doesn't need it. When you walk into a bar, you will hear fans talking about this 27-year-old young man: "George? He is such a good man", "Look at what he did for this club", "This kid changed everything" .
When he bought Worthing in 2015, George's plan was "to enter the Southern League in 5 years." If this season's results are not cancelled, George can just complete the goal this year, it is no wonder why he is so upset with the FA's decision.
"I'm really disappointed. Although I understand that health and safety are more important than anything else, why do high-level leagues have time to make decisions slowly, but we can't get the same treatment?"
"We still don't know how the situation will develop. It seems to be hastily and hasty to make this decision. If all leagues are treated equally, I think it will be easier for everyone to accept."
"Now I just pray that everyone can make a comeback next season. We have an excellent team and coach, and the best fans. I like the songs they wrote for me."
Faced with the joint condemnation of many low-level teams, it is still unknown whether the FA will reconsider. But one thing is certain, next season we will hear the "George Song" created by Worthing fans.
We ain’t Real Madrid / and we ain’t Barcelona / we are Worthing Football Club / and George Dowell is our owner
(We are not Real Madrid, we are not Barcelona, we are Worthing Football Club, and our boss is George Dowell)
George Dowell had a dream / to save this football team…
(George Dowell has a dream, that is to save this team)
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