The future of football is in crisis, something I feel I’ve been writing about for ages and it’s almost as if everyone thought that the COVID-19 pandemic was over, such has been the short-sightedness of the Government and football’s official bodies.
The claims concerning safety at football grounds are just throwaway sound bites because you can’t even stop players contracting it, what hope is there for fans. You can bring in a sweeping range of technology-based gadgets into the equation, but the chances of keeping the COVID-19 virus under control, while a several high profile clubs struggle or go to the wall is slim.
There’s a sudden realisation that the nation’s favourite sport is on the brink and although the government claims that much has been done by the individual clubs, I fail to see what they’ve been able to do against a non-compliant and uncontainable virus.
This will all come down to money and one can see a massive U-turn that bucks all the relevant medical data to get limited crowds back into grounds. This is a financially unsustainable crisis and with every passing day, football clubs get closer to becoming bankrupt, especially those in the lower reaches of the pyramid.
One suspects that at various meetings with government ministers, the true nature of the dilemma has become clear and there’s a sense of urgency to make concessions. Football needed to pool its resources from the off but when it was announced that crowds would be permitted to attend in early October, the powers took their foot off the gas, content in the knowledge that some revenue would be available.
Now, the government is between a rock and a hard place with no idea of their next move. Football is a massive money-spinner and it will prevail even if the risks stay high.