Many leagues around the world are considering the possibility of playing behind closed doors in order to get their domestic campaigns done at a reasonable time.
The following statement was released by The Independent in regards to the Premier League, in particular, taking up this measure.
“The Premier League are again investigating playing games behind closed doors amid the Covid-19 crisis, in order to complete the season. It is hoped that could even happen as early as May, when the latest postponement set by Thursday’s meeting is set to end.
The big decisions
While there had previously been an acknowledgement that playing without fans present would be less than preferable, and that there could be a host of complaints concerning health from players and staff, the mood is said to have shifted in the last few days.
The primary factor is obviously financial, with TV rights the biggest. The Premier League may have to pay back broadcasters £762m if they cannot finish the season, due to the terms of their contracts and the amount companies like Sky and BT are losing without live football, as well as the fact the government hasn’t yet decreed football must stop.”
The Premier League also released the following statement.
“The FA, Premier League, EFL and women’s professional game, together with the PFA and LMA [League Managers Association], understand we are in unprecedented times and our thoughts are with everyone affected by Covid-19.
“We are united in our commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019-20 football season and ensuring all domestic and European club league and cup matches are played as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.”
When will we know?
As we all know there is still a great deal of uncertainty lingering around the world of football right now, and we all have absolutely no idea when that’s going to be subside.
Alas, one of the biggest problems for the idea of the behind closed doors seems to be the revenue dilemma. Many clubs around the world rely on the money that comes in via fans paying to get into the stadium, and that much is obvious. If they have to play all of these games without fans being there, it’s going to get very bizarre very quickly.
Then when you get beyond that, a whole new wave of incidents pop up – from player contracts to how on earth you go about finishing all of the remaining competitions such as the Champions League, FA Cup and beyond.
The fact that the European Championships have now been postponed will obviously help massively because international teams simply will not be a factor anymore.
It’s safe to say that pretty much everyone is scared right now, but maybe diving into the ins and outs of what is going to happen in football will take our minds off of the tragedy unfolding around us.
All we know at this stage is that football is off the table, and we think that’ll continue to be case until at least May.