Could Fan Free Football Extend to Summer ’21?

It is all speculation but there is a growing feeling in English football that the concept of behind closed doors will be longer even than many had feared.

There is a sense among some across sport that mass gatherings are being lined up for a more long term restriction by the British Government, up to the point at which a vaccine is developed and widely available.

The feeling is that clubs have effectively conceded that there may be no fans allowed at any point in 2020 and that this could extend to the whole of next season as well as the conclusion of this.

A meeting of clubs today will discuss a number of areas around a return to action, including a decision to be taken next week, in line with the Government review on lockdown measures, which could see a return under controlled, and fan-free circumstances, in June.

Perhaps the fact that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has seen the impact of the virus at close quarters, from the bed of an intensive care unit, and this is feeding his sense of putting public health concerns above all others to an even greater degree than elsewhere, eventually.

There is also a sense that blame is being increasingly loaded onto the mass sporting gatherings that took place for the Manchester Derby on March 8th, Liverpool against Atletico Madrid on March 11th and the Cheltenham Festival up to March 13th.

The FA is understood to be looking at how it might mitigate the losses of clubs from matchday income.

If Britain was to take a stance on no gathering before vaccination that would also put Euro 2020 at risk with both semi-Finals, the Final and other games scheduled to be played in London and Glasgow next June and July.

It looks like a particularly bleak prospect but these are uncharted waters and who could have even imagined that we would be where we are even three months ago, never mind where we might be over the next twelve.

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