Simon Parker (R) manager of Lewes Women with his assistant. Lewes Women v London Bees, WomenÂ’s Championship football match, The Dripping Pan Stadium, Lewes, UK - 19 Jan 2020 Photo: Sean Ryan for The FA

Lewes boss Parker unsure of how Covid-19 will affect budget and recruitment

Lewes manager Simon Parker is unsure of how the Coronavirus pandemic will affect both his budget and recruitment plans for next season.

The finances of many FA Women’s Championship clubs likely to be severely hit as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and more players than ever before may find themselves transfer listed or made free agents this summer.

Lewes are one club who are equipped to pull through the current crisis thanks to the support of the Government and the local council. Despite The Rookettes possibly sitting a little more comfortable than some of their rivals in the current climate, manager Parker has admitted that it is difficult to predict what budget he will have to work with when his summer recruitment begins.

“The board will give me a budget and I will work to that” said the Lewes boss when speaking to FA Women’s Super League Full-Time at a club ‘Meet the Manager’ event. “Where we are at the moment, it is very hard to know what that budget will be.

“When we go back, we have eight more games without revenue as they’ll all be behind-closed-doors so that could affect the budget.”

It is often no easy task to sign contracted players from other clubs and the Lewes boss expects this summer to be no different despite cutbacks being potentially considered across various levels of the women’s game.

Parker said “Will it (the financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic) make players more affordable? I am not sure.

“In terms of contracts, it is very unlikely that you are going to get someone for less than what they are on.

“If you’ve got a player on a deal, you can’t really offer them less so the situation might not necessarily make players more affordable.”

This summer could see more players out of work than ever before. With players likely to be keen to secure their quick returns to the game, wage and contractual demands may decrease whilst football recovers from the Coronavirus pandemic.

When asked about unattached players potentially dropping their demands, Lewes boss Parker commented by saying “That could be possible. We can only offer what we have so if I put that offer to a player, they can either accept it or not.

“It might mean that they take an offer which is less than they would have liked.”

Like their FA Women’s Championship rivals, Lewes are waiting to learn of whether the current campaign can be completed. The matter continues to be assessed by The Football Association. Once a decision is made, manager Parker will be able to consider his plans for both completing the 2019/2020 campaign and putting together a squad capable of pushing the club up the table next season.

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