Slough Town Football Club can confirm that joint manager Neil Baker will be taking a break from football.
Neil will be focusing his time and attention on supporting his father as he undergoes chemotherapy treatment. Everyone at the club offers their full support to Neil at this difficult time. As we all know, this has been a challenging year for everyone and with rising numbers of cases of COVID-19, there are far more important things at stake than football.
Neil has the following message for Rebels supporters:
“Further to the recent news regarding the ever increasing COVID-19 levels and the concern with where this pandemic is going, I have today in consultation with Unders and the club decided to take a break from football until at least the end of January.
“Some people will know that my father is currently having chemotherapy for an incurable cancer, and whilst living on his own in Fakenham, Norfolk I have been back and forth as his support bubble trying to help him get through the treatment (which will continue until the end of January).
“As such he is classed as extremely vulnerable, and whilst I have been trying my utmost to socially distance, it is almost impossible to do so because of the very nature of football and the environment that we are put in.
“With the latest news, I don’t feel that I can continue to justify the extra risks I am putting on him. Just recently, two clubs known to me have had situations of seven and nine positive cases of infection in their changing rooms - and despite all the good work clubs do with COVID-19, without any form of testing involved at our level I just don’t feel that it is enough due to peoples’ habits.
“I have to stress that I am not walking away from the club or Unders, and I intend to be back as and when it is safe to do so, however at this current time where there are so many unknowns I need to concentrate on my father. Whilst football has always been a massive part of my life, some things are more important.”
The club notes the Government’s decision to place the Borough of Slough into tier 4, the new highest COVID-19 alert level. We will continue to fulfil fixtures despite having significant reservations, and we will be raising these concerns with The National League in due course.
Whilst the UK is in the midst of a pandemic, the focus should be on staying healthy and getting through this difficult period in our lives. We hope that all of our supporters, volunteers, players and management have a safe and peaceful Christmas period, and we look forward to seeing you again when it is safe to do so.
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