Real challenge as virus sweeps through Shrewsbury Town Football Club

It has been a 'tortuous' and 'challenging' year for Shrewsbury Town Football Club amid the pandemic – with players also testing positive for coronavirus over the past week, its chief executive has said.

Brian Caldwell
Brian Caldwell

Brian Caldwell, who was speaking to Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club, said coronavirus had badly hit the football club resulting in twice weekly testing of players and staff.

“It has been a major operation looking after everybody – a really challenging time,” Mr Caldwell said.

“Covid-19 has been really difficult to deal with and in the last seven to 10 days it has got worse with players testing positive.

“We had to do mandatory testing last week and the vast majority tested positive.

"The majority of them were showing symptoms, but we have a few really suffering from the effects of Covid."

Speaking over Zoom to the rotarians he said in the last seven to 10 days the football club had cancelled against Crewe due to positive tests and had also cancelled training last Monday.

"We picked up another on Monday of this week, mild symptoms, but this new strain is so easily transferable," he said.

'Major operation'

“Speaking to medics, this new strain was transferred fast around our players through training which has never been seen before.

"So we cancelled with Southampton on Saturday which was a blow because it was on TV.”

He said they were trying to arrange to play the game, but all the players were in full isolation.

“It is a really challenging time," he added.

He said Shropshire public health had closed the training ground to minimise the spread of the virus.

“For those players who are left on their own in Shrewsbury we have brought in a chef to make food for them," he said.

“The chef is doing isolation packs on a daily basis for players in isolation. It is a major operation looking after everybody.”

He also described new manager Steve Cotterill as a ‘larger than life character’ under whom the team had managed to pick up victories.

He hoped they would put enough points on the board to take them up the league and then push for promotion next season.

“The transfer window is difficult to deal with in the current situation and to make sure the club is run properly is difficult with no money coming in," he said.

"But we have been able to sustain ourselves in a tortuous year.”

He said the chairman had ensured the club had money in the bank for a ‘rainy day,’ but he could not have foreseen what Covid would do.

He said work had started in the last 10 days on a new artificial pitch at the back of the south stand which will help to bring more people to the stadium and encourage more supporters moving forward.

Mr Caldwell told Rotarians that £1.4m had been spent on the training ground.

He said: "Training grounds are the way forward. We have invested a lot of money to make sure we have an ‘all singing and all dancing’ training ground.

“The training ground has a gym, restaurant – for eating the right food – and sauna."

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News