With the world in lockdown, including the JustArsenal Admins, people are filling their time by coming up with ideas how to get football to resume in the quickest yet safest way. Trust me owners will be doing the same as they remain determined to get the season finished.
Yet like the government might take any decisions out of their hands, I think they would squash the latest rumoured proposal. In fact, if I had to make a sport prediction right now, I would bet that we won’t see football in any form for at least another two months, or maybe even longer..
Apparently, the Premier League think a solution could be that the EPL squads are isolated together in hotels, and not returning to their families until all the fixtures are completed. Essentially that’s what happens every two years anyway. If you’re successful at say a World Cup, you could spend 6 weeks on the other side of the world away from your loved ones.
Some would have been doing that in the Euros anyway, so you’re just swapping what you would be doing with your international side and doing it with your club instead.
All involved seem to have accepted games will have to be behind closed doors, but are willing to sacrifice match day revenue if it means fulfilling contractual obligations to TV companies and sponsors.
But the belief is that keeping squads only in contact with each other, with regular health checks, would mean the campaign could be squeezed into a month.
There’s even talk of using neutral venues, where in theory 3 games could happen in one stadium throughout the day, like the Emirates Cup. Hence you’re not taking a risk of, say Newcastle travelling the length of the country to Bournemouth or Brighton…
Yet you wouldn’t just be asking 22 players to ignore self-distancing. It takes a huge team behind the scenes to put together an ordinary matchday even without supporters. Some clubs hire staff in double figures. You can’t ask assistant coaches to stay away.
How many refs and assistants do you need? Each game still has VAR,so how many personnel does that take up? How much are you paying coach drivers to sacrifice themselves? You would still need to hire security to make sure players are safe entering and leaving grounds?
Don’t be naive to think a ban on fans means no police needed. Gatherings outside stadiums would be a possibility specially to celebrate Liverpool winning the title or an Aston Villa staying up? Officers would have to break those groups up.
Any ball boys and girls? Or does Mustafi get the ball each time?
Who do you think unlocks a ground? It’s not like you give Jurgen Klopp some keys and say just leave them in reception once you’re finished.
What about Sky and BT and the other worldwide broadcasters? The reason everyone wants to find a compromise is to appease them. They will want certain number of cameras for their live content.
In all seriousness Boris Johnson couldn’t criticise the public for public gatherings then be seen to be changing the rules for those who make money. It’s zero tolerance. Either it’s too dangerous to be in a person’s personal space or it isn’t? It‘s not a case of ‘it’s risky but it’s worth the chance’ if it helps the economy.
Worse (and this is why I can’t see it happening), on the one hand we rightly are clapping the NHS workers for going above and beyond when they are already stretched, yet we would then take away some of their resources for the sake of sport? It’s a legal requirement for any match to have a hospital and medical staff on hand. Try telling a patient they can’t be seen, or a nurse asked to do overtime, yet football is carrying on?
It’s unethical, morally wrong and there would be too much of a backlash. If one person got ill because of this idea that’s one too many.
Can You Think Of Any Creative Ways You Would End The Season?