He then added a little later, ‘Over the weekend I spoke to a leading expert, who is involved with the national response to the coronavirus pandemic, to ask him when sport as we know it – in front of packed crowds – might return. His response was sober and downbeat. “My expectation is that this is something that is going to be around for a long period of time,” he said. “There are no silver bullets on the horizon. We are talking months and months – and perhaps even next year and beyond”.’
The expert (who asked to remain anonymous) noted that a vaccine would probably not be ready until August 2021.
And that’s not my finger slipping as it often does. It is August 2021.
Yes, but, you may be saying, we could play behind closed doors. The problem with that is if a single player or member of the training or managerial team in a club tests positive then the whole squad is out for two weeks. Plus all the players of the other team that they have just played.
And all that is before you even think whether people who have been out of work since March 2020 will be ready to pay for their season tickets in July 2020. Especially where there is still the risk of playing games with no crowd present.
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Plus another thing, if matches are off and on like yoyos go up and down, Sky and BT Sprout are not going to be that amused. What do they do – put a crew in each ground and hope?
The average club in the Premier League pays out £30m a week in wages before bonuses. So they desperately want to come back to a scenario in which they earn some money. But that’s not the point. They simply won’t be allowed to.