The coronavirus has had a massive impact on the entire world, including sports, people are being forced to stay at home and all schools have officially closed. These are very worrying times for health, sport and businesses.
The football world has been rocked by the whole pandemic and drastic measures have been taken place to contain the spread from not shaking hands, playing behind closed doors and postponing matches. Future implications could include making the season null & void and deciding the season based on where teams are currently sitting.
Behind closed doors
The first implication that was taken place to stop the pandemic was playing matches behind closed doors, the game of the year between Juventus and Inter was the first match to be played with no fans in attendance and the game was hit hard by fans on social media claiming that football is nothing without the fans. This way will be the only way to finish the season, but the fans will strongly disagree with it for not considering the fans. Pep Guardiola agrees stating “If the fans aren’t coming, then we won’t play”. The dame with basketball legend LeBron James who claimed, “If my fans aren’t here then I’m not playing, I play for my fans”. The conflict has been made clear by both fans and employees of the club that this is not an option.
Keep the standings as they are
This would be a lot easier for the season as it would mean no fixture congestion for sides. Being beneficial to sides such as Liverpool who will win the title and Sheffield United who will advance into the European places, despite only being in the Championship last year. Manchester United would advance into the coveted Champions League places because of Manchester City’s ban. The season would be done meaning there will be no fixture pile ups and time for the next football season to go ahead. However, with clubs like Aston Villa who have two games in hand over Watford who sit two points behind them. This seems incredibly harsh on teams such as Aston Villa because they haven’t had a chance to finish their season and they can still get out of the relegation places.
Declare the season null & void
This solution would be the easiest out of all of them because it keeps the majority Premier League clubs happy, all of them will achieve their season objective to stay in the Premier League and receive all of their TV money it includes. However, the clubs further down the football pyramid are the problem because they can’t afford to pay wages or bills without the money they rely on. Matchday money from tickets sold, programmes bought, and food bought, unless the EFL react then we could see another club falling into administration such as Bury. This seems the most likely option.
Whatever happens, it’s become clear to everyone that football will be put on hold for the time being. The most important thing is to realise how much you really love football during this time and being able to use this frustration to love the game more than you did before.