Ancelotti: 'Football counts for zero right now'

Saturday, 14 March, 2020 50comments  |  Jump to last

Carlo Ancelotti says he isn't concerned right now about how the Premier League should proceed if the Coronavirus pandemic causes further disruption to the season, saying that people's health is of paramount concern.

Speaking in the Italian media, the Everton boss explained that Everton's team as a whole is not currently in self-isolation but he was passionate in his view that the UK needs to take the situation seriously in view of what is happening in his own country.

“The Premier League did stop eventually, and it's about time,” Ancelotti told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “It was the right decision faced with the scenario. We couldn't continue. Health is the most important thing for everyone: teams, fans, media, everyone who works in football.

“In theory, we ought to get back to work on March 22, but if the situation in general should worsen, how can we even think of that? If the Coronavirus is still spreading rapidly, football cannot resume.

“To be perfectly honest, I am not interested [in how the Premier League should be decided],” Ancelotti when asked what should be done if the season can't continue. “Football counts for zero right now and it almost irritates me to be talking about it, faced with the tragedy that is unfolding in front of our eyes. This is a pandemic, a situation none of us had experienced before now.

“The number of deaths in Italy is terrible. In one day, another 250 people died. The priority is to concentrate on this fight, the rest doesn't matter.

“Italy was forced to understand that it was time to stop being superficial, they had to respect the orders and stay home, to respect themselves and others during this war.

“I watched Prime Minister Boris Johnson's speech on TV and it seems to be someone here hasn't realised the gravity of the situation. Life continues as normal, to a certain degree.”

Everton closed Finch Farm, Goodison Park and their headquarters at the Royal Liver Building yesterday after one of their players reported symptoms that might be consistent with COVID-19 but Ancelotti reported good news on that front.

“We're not really self-isolating at all,” he said, “but some prevention measures did come in after a player had a fever, but his temperature has dropped now and that's the most important thing.”

Quotes sourced from Gazetta dello Sport via Football Italia

Reader Comments (50)

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Jay Evans
1 Posted 14/03/2020 at 17:03:34
As classy as ever.
Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 14/03/2020 at 18:10:15
The right words, the right tone. Our manager. Bravo.
Stan Schofield
3 Posted 14/03/2020 at 19:09:18
Well said, Don Carlo.

I am still astonished that the Wednesday Champions League game at Anfield was allowed to go ahead, especially given that Madrid is the epicentre of the Spanish outbreak.

Government really needs to get its act together with sensible and prompt control measures instead of the usual bullshitting they do.

Tony Everan
4 Posted 14/03/2020 at 19:11:12
Carlo is a class act, he says it as it is.

The only concern now for the country is minimising the death toll of this virus. If the season is cancelled and having no football matches contributes towards achieving that, it's a small price to pay.

Tony Everan
5 Posted 14/03/2020 at 19:13:58
Agreed, Stan. Shocking decision when they are talking about a “delay” policy. Having 3,000 come in to Merseyside from Madrid last week will do the opposite, it will accelerate the infection rate.
Jack Convery
6 Posted 14/03/2020 at 19:34:35
Great words from Don Carlo.

This virus will be around next winter unless a vaccine is found. I wonder how much money is currently being poured into labs around the world by all those corporations who love to sponsor sports? Millions, I suspect, as it's costing them right now... and will for a long time until that cure is found.

Mark Andersson
7 Posted 14/03/2020 at 20:46:23
Typical Italian... first sign of war and they wave the white flag.

I was hoping Carlo would relish the fight against the red army but any excuse to avoid defeat...

Okay, only kidding.... Gotchya!!!

Carlo is a classy act, unlike the German baffoon across the park, telling one of his own fans to fuck off.

When World War One and World War Two were declared, was it at season's end? Or, like now, was it suspended during the season?

Rudi Coote
8 Posted 14/03/2020 at 20:54:19
Everton were League Champions in the year prior to both World Wars. So, in effect, we were Champions during both conflicts.
Kevin Latham
9 Posted 14/03/2020 at 21:02:05
Stan @3 and Tony @5, you've both hit the nail squarely on the head regarding the Madrid fans. How can it be acceptable to let them travel overseas to Liverpool when they're not even allowed at their home ground?

This was foolishness on a spectacular scale and those in charge stand guilty of a charge of dereliction of duty. After having seen what's happened elsewhere why – why – was it considered reasonable to let such potential infection into our city?

Anyway, wise words as ever from Don Carlo and let's hope and pray Blues (and everybody else) everywhere stay safe.

By the way, I haven't been able to keep up on all the threads, could anyone please tell me how Mike Gaynes's family is bearing up? I understand they were actually in Wuhan when it all started. If you read this, Mike, God bless to you and yours.

John McFarlane Snr
10 Posted 14/03/2020 at 21:12:07
Hi Mark [7],

When World War One was declared, football just carried on for another full season (1914-15) and Everton became Champions.

Everton won the Football League (Division One) in 1938-39 and played three games in 1939-40, before all football was cancelled following the declaration of war in September 1939.

Mike Gaynes
11 Posted 14/03/2020 at 21:19:58
Hi Kevin #9, the family is doing just fine, thanks for asking. It's been eight weeks in lockdown, so they're going a little stir-crazy, but nobody's got the virus. Appreciate the good thoughts, sir!
Dennis Stevens
12 Posted 14/03/2020 at 21:30:18
Aye, John #10. I believe there was increasing disquiet over the continuation of the 1914-15 season as the "It'll all be over by Christmas" claims were proved to be false. Hence the prompt cancellation of the 1939-40 season upon the declaration of war.
Paul Hewitt
13 Posted 14/03/2020 at 21:32:08
Stan@ 3. The game went ahead because the government want people to get this virus. They then become immune, then the virus dies.

Unfortunately, many will die in the process.

Paul Smith
14 Posted 14/03/2020 at 21:42:38
Paul 13. Not so, Corona type viruses offer short-term immunity; no-one knows about this one yet. If it's similar, then we can re-catch it.
Mike Gaynes
15 Posted 14/03/2020 at 21:44:58
Paul #13,

"They then become immune, then the virus dies."

It's important to understand that may not be true. Previous coronaviruses like SARS and MERS did not... repeat NOT... confer longstanding immunity. The human immune response to this bug is not yet understood, and the virus itself can mutate – in fact, it already has – enough to reinfect a previous patient. So it's entirely possible to recover from this thing and then get it again.

Kevin Latham
16 Posted 14/03/2020 at 21:47:43
Mike, in the circumstances, that's great to hear, my friend, although I can only imagine what you've all had to go through. Let's hope you're all now heading for home plate.

I suppose we've all just got to look to wait and see how it all pans out; what else can we do? At least we have Boris to reassure us. Don't know about everyone else but I feel like a chicken reassured by Colonel Sanders.

Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 14/03/2020 at 22:00:15
"I feel like a chicken reassured by Colonel Sanders"

That's a beauty. Mind if I use that one, Kev? I'll send you a check for royalties.

Unfortunately, the family have been told the lockdown will continue at least through the end of March. My wife may not make it home until May. (aaagggghhhh!)

John McFarlane Snr
18 Posted 14/03/2020 at 22:01:41
Hi MIke [15],

I would like to take this opportunity to express my good wishes to you and your family. Eight weeks must seem like eight months in this worrying period for you. Here's hoping that you will be reunited soon.

Paul Hewitt
19 Posted 14/03/2020 at 22:08:41
Mike @15. My understanding is you can get the virus again. But it wouldn't be half as dangerous
Tony Everan
20 Posted 14/03/2020 at 22:12:05
Me too, all the very best Mike.
Kevin Latham
21 Posted 14/03/2020 at 22:15:02
Mike, knock yourself out - as for royalties my friend, just put the cash towards your next Yankees cap! 😜 On a serious note, though, I echo Mr Mac's classy sentiments above.
Mike Gaynes
22 Posted 14/03/2020 at 22:16:39
Thank you, John #18. Much appreciated.

Paul #19, yes, that's correct, but it will still be just as contagious. Even assuming the relapse is mild, the primary risk would be spreading it to others.

Many thanks, Kev and Tony. I'm pretty sure my wife is doing fine without me!

Brian Wilkinson
23 Posted 14/03/2020 at 22:21:20
Kevin @9, I can answer that for you mate.

If they stopped the Madrid fans from coming over, then the game would have had to be played behind closed doors.

There was never going to be a scenario of not having Liverpool fans in the stadium, so they allowed the Madrid fans to travel to accommodate the Liverpool fans.

It backfired big time and no doubt it will escalate over the coming weeks on Merseyside.

Brian Wilkinson
24 Posted 14/03/2020 at 22:22:36
Had the second leg been in Madrid, you could put your house on it being played behind closed doors.
Mark Andersson
25 Posted 14/03/2020 at 22:29:10
John Mac, thanks for the info... So technically we were Champions for more years than anyone else.

Kevin Latham
26 Posted 14/03/2020 at 22:38:57
No argument there, Brian. And anyway, one of the laws of the universe is that TV cameras have to pan round the ground in awe and reverence while the crowd sing that bloody song. It should be the national anthem of Norway by now.

In the meantime, we're left to cope with what the Madrid fans brought with them. Figure was 3,000 or so, yes? I'm no statistician but even a carrier rate of 1% would be enough to pass it on to many people here.

Totally irresponsible of the authorities. Bet they wouldn't have been as keen to have them round the Houses of Parliament or Buck House

Dennis Stevens
27 Posted 14/03/2020 at 22:46:01
Aye, Mark #25 - Everton have been League Champions for 20 seasons, although the League was suspended for 11 of them due to wars.
Brian Wilkinson
28 Posted 14/03/2020 at 23:57:41
Speaking of the First and Second World War, when Everton were the Champions, our neighbours were also champions when the Falklands War kicked off.

Only a matter of time where we will be accountable for the assassination of JFK during our '63 title success.

Lloyd Brodrick
29 Posted 15/03/2020 at 00:07:33
On a positive point, Imperial Collage London reporting very good progress with the development of a vaccine. Worked well in mice trials. Several more testing stages to go but first batches could be ready in June.
Phil Sammon
30 Posted 15/03/2020 at 00:31:06
Lloyd 29

I hear the next trials will be on Luis Suarez before human testing can begin.

Brian Williams
31 Posted 15/03/2020 at 00:34:53
Lloyd #29.

Maybe June 2021.

Jim Wilson
34 Posted 15/03/2020 at 12:34:55
'Football counts for zero right now'

Someone needs to tell Liverpool FC that.
There recent comments just show the arrogance of the club and their lack of sympathy for the horrendous situation we are all in.

The Madrid game should never have been played, clearly, and they now need to shut up.

Gerry Quinn
35 Posted 15/03/2020 at 13:16:45
Mike - so, so sorry to hear such awfully worrying news - Cathie and I wish you and especially your nearest and dearest the best of luck regarding their healthy return to you. Keep us informed, will ya...
Simon Dalzell
36 Posted 15/03/2020 at 14:09:32
The guy who invented the sanitizer must be rubbing his hands.
Tony Abrahams
37 Posted 15/03/2020 at 14:22:18
That's good news Lloyd. keep posting mate, your sensible posts, are what I personally look to read mate, especially when you bring possible good news.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
38 Posted 15/03/2020 at 14:28:34
Simon 😂😂😂😂😂
Stan Schofield
39 Posted 15/03/2020 at 14:30:18
Brian@31: Clinical trials on humans are initially expected to begin this June. June 2021 is a broadly anticipated date for regulatory approval and treatment of patients if the clinical trials starting this June are successful.
Andrew Heffernan
40 Posted 15/03/2020 at 15:58:05
Usual over the top locally driven political utterances... it's global pandemic that will affect less than 2% and was here ‘before' the Madrid game, get over yourselves
Brent Stephens
41 Posted 15/03/2020 at 16:19:19
Andrew, is your middle name Jack? I trust you're ok.
Sean Kelly
42 Posted 15/03/2020 at 17:36:31
Hi fellow ToffeeWebbers best wishes to all and keep safe. Mike hope your family is doing well. Just back from Portugal to Ireland. This place is in meltdown. No govt no leaders.
Sean Kelly
43 Posted 15/03/2020 at 17:36:32
Hi fellow ToffeeWebbers best wishes to all and keep safe. Mike hope your family is doing well. Just back from Portugal to Ireland. This place is in meltdown. No govt no leaders.
Peter Gorman
44 Posted 19/03/2020 at 10:52:07
Heffernan - take a leaf out of Carlo's book and stay classy. Hope nobody you know is in that 2%.
Gordon Adie
45 Posted 19/03/2020 at 18:55:23
Over the top???? Are you for real Andrew Heffernan? Karma is a bastard you know.
Mick Roberts
46 Posted 20/03/2020 at 17:33:32
Totally different class from that loser andros townsend who I quote said it is most important the season finishes one of the reasons BONUSES. Wow you could not make it up people are dying and all this millionare cares about is if he gets his BONUSES you absolute WANKER
Peter Gorman
47 Posted 21/03/2020 at 09:05:21
Wouldn't he just gamble it all away, Mick?
Mick Roberts
48 Posted 21/03/2020 at 17:44:26
Paul all he deserves is a double dose of covid-19
Tony Abrahams
49 Posted 21/03/2020 at 18:19:54
I've just watched a video on sky, it's horrifying, it's heartbreaking, and if any bonuses are to be given out once they get on top of this this virus, then the money has to be given to the unbelievable brave health workers all over the world.

If any political leader watches this video, and doesn't put us on lockdown, then I'm afraid they are all contributing to something that is only getting worse, imo.

If we have learned nothing from the Chinese, then I'm afraid we have learned even less from the Italians, and this is the most worrying thing of all.

It's not the people who are showing symptoms which are the problem, it's the people who have no symptoms, so have no idea they are spreading the virus, and unless everyone is made to totally isolate, then it's only going to get a lot worse before it gets better. So worrying.

Eddie Dunn
50 Posted 21/03/2020 at 18:39:44
My missus just watched something on the news about the awful deaths in italy, they desperately need 300 medical staff, in the midst of the most dreadful situation, the amazing Italians have had 3000 offers of help.
It is absolutely unbelievable and heartbreaking.
As for the crass comments of Andrew Heffernan. You are beneath contempt.
Patrick McFarlane
51 Posted 22/03/2020 at 12:14:12
Decent article by Andy Hunter in the Guardian yesterday 'Merseyside's red and blue mobilise forces in fight to save local livelihoods; just one quibble did both Merseyside Managers make the same remark or did one of them copy the other? "football being the most important of the least important things.

Red and Blue

Patrick McFarlane
52 Posted 22/03/2020 at 12:17:42

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