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…