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Club News

A Message From CEO David Bottomley

30 March 2020

Club News

A Message From CEO David Bottomley

30 March 2020

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am providing an update on the position of Rochdale AFC during this challenging time.

I want to start by wishing you and your families well. I trust that you are staying safe and following all government guidance surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19. It is an extremely worrying period in all of our lives, and we are all very aware that we are in this together.

On the 13th March, the EFL announced that there would be no football played for several weeks. Our players were all given home training regimes and have not trained together since that date.  

As a Club, we decided last Monday morning to take the action that the Government were seeking, in restricting movement, and effectively “lockdown” the Crown Oil Arena.

As a result of this, whilst all staff have been paid in full for March, a number of our staff have had to be furloughed as we seek to maintain the long-term future of Rochdale AFC.

The reaction of those staff shows the great loyalty we have within the Club and we trust that very soon we can repay the same.   

We continue to be in regular dialogue with the EFL and we are able to input our own thoughts and ideas. We will be taking their lead and initiative on a number of matters that are in negotiation in regard to how we progress going forwards as Clubs and as an Industry.

If any of our supporters want to share their stories of virus and how it has affected their lives, so we can continue to try and spread awareness, please email

At this time, we do not know when we will be seeing the team back out on the pitch. Until then, we would like you all to follow government guidance and stay safe.

Finally, I want to finish with a message from one of our Season Ticket holders, Nick Robinson. He published the below on social media, regarding his battle with COVID-19.

It is a stark reminder to everyone that this issue should not be taken lightly, and that all advice needs to be followed.


Nick Robinson:

Evening everyone.. long post warning but here you have it...

My Covid-19 experience started on Wednesday 18th March when I woke with a temp of 38.6c. As a family, we decided to self isolate and work from home.
Over the coming days, I felt pretty sh***y with a temp hitting 42c a couple of times, with hallucinations thrown in for good measure. 
Luckily, Hayley and the kids seemed fine as I had self isolated into Graces bedroom. 
We called 111 a few times only to be cut off after a ‘couple’ of hours on hold. 
We finally got through and they called an ambulance on Thursday 19th. I then received a call back saying it had been cancelled and that my GP would call with a prescription of steroids. This happened and I started the steroids that evening.

By Friday, I seemed to be getting better, spending time in the garden with the kids and doing some ‘pottering’, although I had also lost my sense of smell and taste as well as appetite.

Fast forward to Monday 23rd and I thought, that wasn’t so bad, the kids were ok, Hayley was fine and I felt just a little tired. 
I’d done a conference call in the afternoon and my temp went back to 40c together with a shitty cough.

Wow, I went to bed on Monday evening, unable to get my temp down but also struggling to breathe.

I phoned 111 Tuesday 24th, 1st thing in the morning, who told me they couldn’t do anything and got my GP to ring with a prescription of antibiotics for pneumonia.
I got the medicine and started them straight away but was throwing up within 1/2 hour and physically unable to stop coughing enough to take a breath.

By Thursday 26th, I hadn’t eaten, Hayley was feeling poorly and I really didn’t know what to do... I asked Hayley to phone 999 as I hoped they would at least cart me off so that she didn’t have to worry about me. Paramedics arrived, confirmed it was highly likely I had post Covid-19 pneumonia but didn’t want to move me for fear of either spreading the virus or worse still, my getting it worse in hospital.

Over the following days, my temperature has fluctuated between normal and 40c with very little appetite and even less energy.
I finally managed to get out of bed and go downstairs for an hour on Saturday only to have to spend the remainder of the day and night back in Graces bed due to being ‘floored’...

Today, wow, I finally got to spend a bit of time with the kids, downstairs, cuddled up watching TV. I even managed to have tea with them before succumbing to lack of energy and having to get back in bed. 
The feeling is describable to being run over (I’d imagine) by a bus... Today I’ve managed to talk on the phone, speak to my kids, see people through the window and even wash a few pots.. What a great day...

I was one of those people who said ‘it’s the flu’ it’s nothing... how wrong was I...

I think I caught it on the Tube or train in London a couple of weeks prior, on a works trip but I can’t be certain.

The Only things that are certain in this are that:

  1. I have lost over a stone in less than a week
  2. I now have more hair on my head, face, eyebrows and in my ears than have had since I was 14 years old
  3. I sincerely want to express my love and gratitude to Hayley and my kids.
  4. This virus does not discriminate nor does it give a flying sh**...
  5. This virus WILL kill you if you don’t show it the respect.
  6. Please help anyone you can by either staying at home or supporting the Key-workers during this battle.
  7. Don’t be a di**head and think ‘it won’t get me’... it might not get you but it will get someone you love...
  8. My family mean everything to me and if someone [sic] wants to endanger that, even god won’t be able to help you...

Please, please, please.. for the sake of everybody, stay safe, and look after each other...

For the latest Government advice regarding COVID-19, please click HERE.

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