On Monday, the Daily Mail reported that the Premier League have ambitious plans to finish the 2019/20 season at the beginning of May and finish by mid-July. Some have slammed the plans and called them dangerous with the coronavirus still spreading throughout the UK, despite most citizens obeying the government’s social distancing policies.
An unpredictable situation
It would be a risky strategy for the league to recommence in May. The world is in an unprecedented situation in peacetime. Although there are estimates from some very intelligent experts, nobody really knows how the virus will ultimately affect the population.
Like everything else in the world, the plan to recommence the Premier League is Coronavirus-dependent. If the country is still in any state of lockdown by May, which is quite realistic, then surely football games cannot go ahead. It would be a major danger to everybody taking part.
Not only would the players have to attend, but the coaches, officials, police and even medical personnel. In our current situation that would likely endanger people’s health further.
The current campaign may not finish
There seems to be a feeling around the world that most leagues may have to face the prospect of not completing the 2019/20 campaign. Leading voices from La Liga and the Bundesliga have already talked about the very real prospect that the leagues will not finish.
A few weeks ago, there seemed to be a determination from the Premier League to complete the campaign. This is to avoid complications, such as how to decide the big issues ahead of next season. Then there is also the gigantic issue of the finances involved.
Some Premier League clubs have already agreed to put their non-playing staff onto the government’s furlough scheme in which the employees will receive 80 per cent of their usual wage to protect jobs.
That is a temporary measure, but that sort of decision suggests that those in charge of clubs are not confident of an imminent return to normality.
Games played behind closed doors
If the 2019/20 season is to be completed, then there seems no doubt that it will take place behind closed doors. It would be the only option to complete the schedule. People are on lockdown for at least any week in the UK, which is likely to be suspended in the near future.
It would be lunacy to allow them to attend football games in their thousands. That seems like common sense. Unfortunately, earlier this month thousands of Atletico Madrid fans were allowed to travel to Liverpool for a Champions League tie. Spain is one of the worst-hit countries for coronavirus.
Liverpool has since seen a rise in coronavirus cases. Whether there is a connection or not I leave up to others to decide. However, it certainly did not help the situation in the UK.
It is hard to judge what is realistic and what is not for the return of professional football in England. However, if things do not improve from our current situation, then it seems like a silly idea to be planning a return of football.
In my humble opinion, the Premier League are just worried about money. If they looked at the bigger picture then they would realise that there are more important things in life than money.
Is it sensible for the Premier League to be planning a return to football in early May?