If and when supporters are permitted to return to football matches, something will certainly need to be done to limit the risk of widespread infection at a time when Covid-19 cases are increasing. It appears that the prospect of empty stadiums will continue until at least the middle of next year, so if crowds are given a green light, several things need to be firmly in place.
Firstly, the Premier League needs to get each club to provide plans for segregation within the grounds, with sensible allocation and social distancing measures. They need to come up with a capacity figure for each venue that will make attendance safe, but I think it’s also time to think outside the box by only allowing fans into their home grounds. Why?
To prevent fans traveling from North or South and increasing the risks of spreading the virus further. It’s the most logical move in anyone’s mind and I’m shocked that it’s not even been considered before.
Of course, fans want to travel in support of their team, but it’s simply illogical and impractical with Covid-19 still evident. At least, this type of strategy will contain the virus to a geographic area which surely makes sense in the light of the rise in infection rates.
The Premier League is currently in crisis talks with the government to allow the return of supporters back into the stadiums for football matches, but any concessions contradicting the current measures that state only groups of six people or less will be legal from this Monday.
Despite measurable losses in revenue according to silentbet, can the government promote one restriction on families and their friends and then allow much larger numbers to attend sporting events? It’s inconceivable in reality and would just throw the Covid-19 strategy, such as it is, into complete chaos by ordering restrictions on personal liberty on the one hand while allowing mass gatherings for financial gain on the other.
Like many, I don’t feel that the overall Covid-19 strategy has been clear. If anything, it has been a series of confusing half measures, open to interpretation and therefore, doomed to failure. If crowds were allowed back into grounds, it would lead to a collapse of integrity and belief in any future measures the government introduced.
Football fans will attend matches if they get the chance and they will travel if permitted. It’s up to the FA and the government to protect the general public from themselves if they can’t assess the dangers for themselves. Lives are surely more important than money and in a game where many organisations and individuals make substantial sums, common sense may have to be legislated.