As some European countries start to ease their own lockdown conditions, here in the UK we have at least another three weeks to go before people can come out of lockdown. That will take us to just over a month AFTER the English football authorities originally wanted us to re-commence the football season. With most leagues still having around ten games to go that will push us well into June EVEN IF we can get the players back up and running by the middle of May.
Let’s just assume for one minute the quickest that we can get the football season going again is mid to late May (giving players a couple of weeks of training). With nine to ten games still left in the Premier League that will give us a possible end to the season of the end of June if teams play twice a week (though that does ignore any impact that the European fixtures would have).
A more realistic re-start to the season will be the beginning of June – that would not give the teams the time to finish all games before the 30th June which brings a big problem. What happens to players that are out of contract on that date (the usual end date of players contracts) or loan players who’s deals end either on that date or before?
Take for example Dean Henderson of Sheffield United. What would happen if the season continued into July but Manchester United (potential European chasing rivals to Sheffield United) recalled him thereby weakening the Sheffield United team? Or, with Chelsea looking to seal their Champions League spot, Oliver Giroud decides not to extend his contract to the end of the season as it could damage his chances of a final lucrative move if he got injured.
One thing that is certain in any scenario is that football games (most likely any sporting games) will be played behind closed doors. No supporters, potential to be akin to training sessions with no atmosphere and all games live on TV. Let that sink in for a minute, is that really worth it just to get your fix of football? OK, for a lot of fans that aren’t able to get to live games they are used to watching on TV, but will it be a sterile game with players just going through their paces?
Whatever direction it takes, the 2019/20 football season is not going to please everyone.
Posted : 16th April 2020