May 13, 2020
Premier League clubs are reportedly bracing themselves for the entire 2020/21 season to be played behind closed doors, which would be the worst case scenario. The Government has advised that crowds in football, other sports and other events may not be allowed until a vaccine for the coronavirus, COVID-19 has been found.
If this was to happen, it would be devastating for world football, presumably with the entire world following suit. Football without supporters in stadiums is something that cold ruin the game. It is suggested that clubs are getting ready for the worst case scenario, just in case it becomes a reality.
This would be disastrous for club finances as some rely on match day revenue, the selling to season tickets, match day programmes, club shop sales and television revenue, with only the latter likely to be available, however, that might also be affected with some matches likely to be free to air for the remainder of this season, if it goes ahead.
Television companies are already thinking about asking for a rebate from clubs with the 2019/20 season likely to be played behind closed doors, if it is actually played at all. Matches would apparently not be as exciting, which is the reason for a rebate as supporters may not watch the matches as they once would.
There is reportedly some hope that a vaccine could be found at some point in the next ten months, meaning that normality could start to return with people not having to be so cautious in their approaches to things outside their homes. Clubs seem to be making plans for football without fans, which for the EFL and lower league clubs being disastrous.
Clubs in League One and League Two would be paying massive amounts of money to play football with player’s wages, stewards, which would be needed to keep stadiums secure, and no income coming through the turnstiles. It could well be a real kick in the teeth for the game. However, not one club is responsible for this, which makes it more unfair.
The UEFA Nations League could be a problem too with home nations teams not getting any international football in this calendar year and with the fact that the UEFA European Championships has been delayed until the summer of 2021, it could have after effects which affect all countries in Europe, if not the world.
An international break is due on the 12 September but as the current Premier League season is no closer to finishing, and the dates for commencement of the new season as yet unknown, if the international break goes ahead, many clubs may choose not to release their players, of which they will have a right to do, considering the implications involved.
There is likely to be more problems with football unearthed before any plans are made to continue the season and actually see football on the pitches of stadiums again. This really is a problem that will be hard to solve. What used to be normal seems so distant now and something that we may never return to. Whilst people are dying, is football still fun?