Why is Football being allowed to ignore the new guidelines?

Football Is Not Costa Coffee!!!! By Dan Smith

Since March, many have debated whether it is safe, practical and morally correct to resume football?
France, Holland and Belgium were quick to implement the new guidelines and void their seasons. Don’t assume that because Germany, Spain, Italy and England plan to do the opposite it’s safe.

Just ask yourself which Leagues make the most money and they are? That’s correct, La Liga, The Premiership, Serie A and the Bundesliga. Is that a coincidence?

I have heard many though who feel that because other non-essential companies are opening from June 15th proves that football is right to prepare for the same time frame.

The casual argument I hear is; if a person who works in a coffee shop has to return to work why should a sports person be any different? The difference is that every employer has the responsibility of creating a safe working environment and will need to prove they are following the new guidelines.

Who knows how long things will be different, but for a while we all might have to adapt?

That’s where Football is the exception, it has rules set in stone which have lasted decades. Second to Rugby it’s the hardest sport to play when your country’s objective is to respect social distancing. Tennis, Golf, Cricket, etc can all be played without participants having to make contact, football you can’t.

I don’t want any business to go bust. It breaks my heart to think of empty stadiums in 2021, or that campaign being delayed leads to Arsenal being in financial trouble. The image of the sport would be in danger if, as predicted, several EFL sides go into administration without match day revenue. Yet I simply can’t, for the sake of money, ignore people’s welfare.

You see, you can go to a pub but not go to the bar. A waiter (wearing a mask) will come to your table, where you are sat in a way which respects social distancing. You will only be allowed to pay with a card.

You could go to McDonald’s but you are encouraged to use their drive through. You could go to the cinema, just not sit directly next to each other. Planes are considering leaving middle seats empty. All of those can make simple changes which are easy to implement to avoid contact. Football can’t do that.

They can, for PR purposes, make it look like they are trying, but what’s the point of subs protecting faces, pitches being disinfected, banning celebrations, etc if you can then pull each other’s shirts and jump all over each other, sweating on top of one another, at every corner and free kick.

If set pieces are safe, then why have all these precautions when going to other establishments?

If I watch a contact sport that tells me that this virus is no longer a danger, yet when I go to Costa I am told to sit away from that person, try to take away, and no cash allowed, while a huge glass screen separates me from the staff.

This week lots of people have been getting on their soap boxes that Boris Johnson refuses to sack Dominic Cummings for breaching lockdown regulations (the same public, thousands of whom went to the beach on bank holiday weekend ignoring every protocol put in place).

To me the government have already showed their true colours by letting a sport carry on, simply because of how much revenue it makes this country. That’s morally a bigger deal compared to if he sacks his advisor or not, especially if a player gets seriously ill or worse. They haven’t cared about players concerns, the further workload it puts on police and medical personnel, or that League 1 and 2 clubs can’t afford to self-test their squads and need some support.

Again, how can a contact sport be safe, but making a builder a cup of tea is not allowed because we must avoid …. contact?

The other day I went to my local shop. I had got to the milk aisle but had forgotten the cheese, yet the only way to go back was to disobey the arrows on the floor. So out of respect I asked the shop assistant how should I play this? She said I wasn’t allowed to go back as the idea of the signs was to minimise the risk of infection (to go back around I could brush against those in the queue). I joked (at this point thinking she was) that technically I should pay for my shop, go out of the building and come back in, hence go back around? She informed me the government guidelines is one shop a day.

I had a final solution. Could she get me the cheese? In no uncertain terms she said that was high risk. The juice wasn’t worth the squeeze, so I just paid for my milk.

Yet as I sat at home without my cheese sandwich, I wondered why, according to the guidelines, it wasn’t safe for me to walk back to the cheese aisle, but it is okay for a football match to go ahead?

Dan Smith

16 Comments

  1. Reggie says:

    Good post Dan and highlights the haphazard way the government are getting us through this. The truth is power, money and plain hypocrisy is getting us out of this crisis. The truth is football should not be starting but it is and it will be under massive scrutiny. We all wait for the first real tragedy from football. We all hope it wont happen but it will. We are all going about our daily lives with strict rules to follow, not football it seems, they are different. Im sure many fooballers are unhappy the way some football in this country has stopped and some are ploughing on under different rules.

    1. Tezz says:

      From a couple of weeks ago things have changed… And its all economy based now… How can one day be unsafe to go to work and the next day with no changes it is… Its the same with football the premaire league makes millions the clubs and league will have to pay a big lump of this seasons millions back if its not completed… Its easy money comes first the government are showing it and now football is showing it… There both playing with people’s lives… If it goes wrong.. And I sincerely hope it dosent.. But if it does the people who made the decisions will all distence then selves and blame in visable medical advisors and look for someone else to blame… There’s no accountability there… If a footballer or and associated workers with these games dies because of the virus… The league should collectively be accused of murder… They are insisting its safe when we all no its not….football should do the right thing and close down… I’m the same as you Dan I love arsenal and football but the lives of everyone involved are worth more

  2. Grandad says:

    Well said Dan.I think your views are shared by the silent majority of caring people in this country.Those who are motivated by self interest, and greed will of course point out the importance of recharging our economy but to treat a high contact sport as a special case when our death toll is the highest in Europe is to me unjustifiable.

  3. Dan kit says:

    I’m pretty sure if the government fund the evidence unsafe they will not let them restart,you must remember that everyone involved is now being tested regularly and in accordance to the guidelines set out by the powers that be .
    I’m a massive MMA fan and they had an event 2 weeks ago where one fighter tested positive out of 700 hundred tests but the event went ahead ,I feel the way they did that was a massive positive and the way it was handled .
    This virus looks like it’s here to stay so we have to start Living with it in our daily lives so unless you want football and sports in general to become obsolete then trial and error is the only way forward .

    1. Dan kit says:

      When I say trail and error i Don’t mean putting lives at risk I mean keep doing what they are doing now with the testing to see where it leads us .

  4. Steve Metcalfe says:

    £’s before possible deaths typifies what EPL, football has become…2nd wave incoming.

    Yes the virus will be with for a while but until there is full antibody testing done and a target date for a vaccine it won’t end good..

  5. Shakir says:

    Unfairness and inhumanity has always been on this world and try all u can but its not going to change anytime soon.

    Many footballers are just happy to be back training and are expecting matches to be resumed soon.Its not like they dont have a choice and almost all of them have money.Players who have expressed concerns are not going to play.So its not rocket science,those who want can play and they are assured that everything is safe by “experts” others can wait.

    And about the common folks,us, its not that hard to break a social distancing rule or any other related one and actually the ones who dont break rules have reduced very much now.Again its not hard to understand that these rules are for our own good and those who obey it will have a minimal chance of contracting the virus(ya u still have a little chance of contracting the virus!!!)

    I am not actually arguing about the article what i am saying is what i feel about this.Am i happy to see football back?Heart says no,mind says yes😟

    And Dan you are a great writer,superb articles always….👌

  6. jon fox says:

    Another sensible article Dan, pointing out the obscenity of restarting the Prem while, only yesterday, ANOTHER 412 deaths were reported. Some on here, albeit thankfully a minority, are clearly becoming bored, incredibly and callously, by the daily reports of other people deaths and care little or nothing for all the individual tragedies to their fellow humans and all their families and friends. Some don’t even seem to think of other human beings as their FELLOWS. What a callous attitude too!

    When the first death of a player or his relative is revealed – as is certain(and I speak as a realist, who carefully weighs up odds, both in my decades long successful pro betting career and in life generally) – then watch all hell break loose and just envisage, as I can easily do, the huge damage to football, its reputation AND its whole future as a world sport. If I had the power to wave a magic wand and prevent this obscenity happening , then I would do so this moment. Football and all those who want its return despite the imminent and real danger, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

  7. S.J says:

    Truth is at some point in time with or without the virus. Every aspect and works of life will resume.

    The premier league has been set to resume on June 17th. Mancity vs Arsenal.

    I hope you all don’t get to watch it cause it will be hypocritical if you all that don’t want the league to resume does watch it.

    Enough of this virus pausing the world. Movement is inevitable

  8. ThirdManJW says:

    As I keep pointing out, think of all those traveling on the packed tubes. It is not possible to avoid physical contact. In fact, in almost EVERY job, there is no guarantee of no physical contact, regardless of what guidelines are in place. Football will resume about a month after lockdown, so they’ve given themselves a good amount of time to see how other businesses/industries are coping.

    As I also keep pointing out, we’ll need some unbelievable social distancing guidelines when the flu season hits because its airborne. Because if we don’t, thousands more will die. Although sufferers of influenza don’t matter I keep getting told. Now that is cold!

    1. Dan says:

      Dangerous stance to take
      I.would suggest most people don’t agree with how workers are being treated / dieing in Quatar building stadiums
      I bet billions will watch world cup ?
      Many don’t agree with Saudia Arabaia human values
      They still order Tyson fury fight ?
      Newcastle potential new owners ?
      You agree with what they do ?
      Bet toon fans Won’t care
      Many want Mike Tyson to fight again , convicted rapist , people will pay to see him

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        Couldn’t agree more. It will be interesting to see if those that have been berating football for coming back, will be watching in a few weeks time.

        1. Dan says:

          Going by your logic mate you too are using double standards by watching football

    2. Reggie says:

      As you keep pointing out! But the thing is at the moment the tubes aren’t rammed and flu is and has been with us this winter and taken very few lives. Your pointing at nothing, you are just flapping.

  9. Allstar Abs says:

    The truth is here in Africa we are somehow lucky when you consider our share in this loss of covid19 in general,but I feel sorry for every loss to this covid19 throughout the whole world most especially those who lost their life’s may their soul rest in perfect peace I pray God be with their family’s,as for this football restarting of a thing I miss football a lot most especially premier league and my beloved Arsenal but I value life ahead of anything I suggest the league should have wait pending when vaccine would be found,because life is supposed to be the most important thing to every reasonable and sensible human being regardless of what might happen safety first others can wait for all I care

  10. Jacko says:

    Scientific experts said at the start of this crisis that two people would have to be within 2m of each other within a confined environment for at least fifteen minutes to have a good chance of transmitting the virus to one another through airborne transmission. A job as a professional footballer (especially in probably one of the richest/ safest league in the world) is probably one of the safer jobs out there! The spread the the virus is most through contact. This risk can be minimalised/ eliminated by players washing hands before and wearing masks during games. To answer the original question most work places in UK cannot ensure social distancing at all times (but will claim to do so) but have little choice but to ask people back to work just to keep their business running. Football is no different.

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