Plans being discussed that if Arsenal play behind closed doors we can all watch at home for free

From the way the coronavirus experts are talking now, it may be necessary to continue with social-distancing measures for the rest of the year, which will make it nigh-on impossible to hold football matches with the usual crowds that we have come to expect.

So it is more and more likely that the Premier League Clubs will have no choice but to play behind closed doors to fulfil their contractual duty to the TV rights holders. That would have meant that only Sky and BT Sports subscribers would be able to watch the games in the UK, but it seems the Culture secretary Oliver Dowden is trying to persuade the TV moguls to allow some games to be shown free-to-air.

This is quite simply because if they are only shown to subscribers, then this would just mean large crowds convening at their friends’ houses instead of at the ground, which rather defeats the object of playing behind closed doors.

This point was put to Mr Dowden, who replied: “Yes, it’s a very good point and I’ve raised exactly this challenge to the Premier League in the conversations that I had with them.

“I have said to the Premier League in particular, it wouldn’t send the best signal if they were the first or one of the first major sports to resume behind closed doors and the public at large wouldn’t have access to it.”

So, there is hope on the horizon that we will be able to watch The Arsenal in the comfort of our own homes, without the need to buy an expensive subscription to the Pay TV Channels. This would certainly make this “social-distancing” a little easier to bear…

8 Comments

  1. SueP says:

    Under the current circumstances IF football resumed I fully appreciate the idea of games being free to air. It will give the country a chance to see live sport and no doubt improve wellbeing for many which is vital

    The trouble is that the punters out there who are currently paying Sky and/or BT have paid significant sums for the privilege of watching the PL live. I’m less than impressed that BT are charging for a service that they are not providing me so the idea that it would be free to air may well cause serious annoyance to all subscribers

    If a way of supporting the good of the nation and recognising the cost of those who stump up then I am all for it

    The reality of football finishing this season is low

  2. Declan says:

    SueP, are you aware that you can “cancel” your BT Sport subscription until “normal” football is resumed AND still watch all the BT Sport channels for free? Sky were also talking about doing the same but I don’t know if Sky have yet.

    1. SueP says:

      Declan
      I had no idea at all
      Thanks for your advice

    2. James Simmonds says:

      think sky have suspended their sports pakage payments from customers

  3. jon fox says:

    The last time I looked, footballers were also PEOPLE! The last time I watched a football match, I also observed a lack of social distancing in the game. However can I be so observant you are NOT asking yourselves! As social distancing applies to all people and as footballers are ALSO people, can some “genius” please explain to my satisfaction how social distancing can effectively operate during any game!

    1. towny254 says:

      Well said jon some people don’t think this social distancing could go on till they find an answer to this Bloody virus

  4. jon fox says:

    So we football lovers are supposed then to watch this football-which will not be played in any case- on our own home free to air TV’s, in order to prevent mass gatherings in the homes of those who have Sky/ BT Sport. We are told it is vital to remain at least two feet aapart from anyone outside our own household.
    But apparently it will be ALLOWED, for footballers in a game, to be within two metres of each other OR are they all, being people in case no one but I has noticed, NOT allowed to tackle, challenge, go up for headers or at any stage get within two metres of any other person. Why has this obvious problem not been noticed, at least not enough to be commented about, by anyone save me?

    1. SueP says:

      Jon,
      There was a suggestion that the PL players went into some sort of group isolation for the period of playing the games, with temperatures taken before and after each match along with other safety procedures. Whether that is still out there, I don’t know. A lot of faffing about

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