This is the sight us as football fans might have to get used to for a little while, empty stadiums playing host to nothing. The question above is open to any interpretation or opinion because currently there is no answer but one you can try and answer as best you can.
The coronavirus is here to stay, how long for nobody knows. It almost certainly won’t disappear as quickly as it arrived. With Premier League and Football League games suspended for two weeks over the past few days, non-league came up with a mixed reactions to events. The National League decided to play on, Step 4 that being the Isthmian, Southern and Northern decided to halt proceedings for seven days and in some cases for fourteen days, and the grassroots were left by the FA to decide for themselves, the latter there being damned if they did and damned if they didn’t.
I can understand to a degree why grassroots were allowed to continue if the aim is to stop large gatherings of people, thats not going to happen at that level, but still the advice should have been given to allow club the option to postpone if they felt it necessary to. At the same time though there is nothing to stop the virus spreading among a small amount of people.
And to the National League where the crowds range from 9000 odd down to around 1000, still a decent amount of people in one place and a nice breeding place for germs. Many people were shocked at the announcement to play over the course of this weekend which in my opinion backfired almost immediately with Harrogate announcing self-isolation for some showing symptoms on Friday evening. This was followed on Saturday morning by Barnet, Chorley and Woking who announced players or staff who had self-isolated causing three more postponements.
Now nothing here is the fault of any club, the correct decisions were made by them but fans were on their way to these games already which I feel could have been avoided by a blanket ban on games at National League level, what made them feel the NL was so special to have to play when all round where cancelling left, right and centre? Managers came out after the game to slam the decision to play and quite rightly so I believe, Eastleigh boss Ben Strevens stating the fact they have elderly people involved on their backroom staff, the very people at risk of being infected and exposed to a game that could have waited.
In answer to the question above, I really don’t know. Much will depend on how situations develop over the next fourteen days on a national and local scale as to whether we will see a resumption in service or a further suspension to sporting events. There is opinion that the season becomes null and void or tables stand as they are with clubs promoted or relegated, from that there is sure to be legal fall out regardless of whether it is or is not the right thing to do. I don’t see any reason why the season can’t continue once there is containment and the calendar around the world will be distorted for maybe a year or two, we’re very much at the mercy of the experts and not those from Facebook or Twitter!
Whatever is decided over the coming weeks, the health of everyone in this country is more important than me having nothing to write about when it comes to football, but I’m sure I can fashion up just enough to keep you all reading when it comes to self-isolation…