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October 2020
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Slowly football is changing, but unfortunately not everyone is following the plot

By Tony Attwood

You might not know if from reading the English blogs and newspapers but yes, decisions are being made, and proposals are being put on the table.

OK these things have not worked out well in Scotland, where, as we noted last time around, a certain local difficulty has been encountered.  But elsewhere things move along.

And here’s some more positive thinking.  (And I am sure some of the newspapers will carry it tomorrow – they do seem to be using us as a news service, which is rather amusing since we are just a bunch of guys working from our homes in various countries.)

James Kitching, director of FIFA football regulations, has announced that the International Federation could accept the creation of a third transfer window.

Currently, the summer transfer window lasts from July 1 to August 31 (or September 2 in Switzerland) and the winter from January 1 to 31 (February 17 in Switzerland).    But because the seasons are likely to start late and so end late “we could see the opening of a third transfer window.”

FIFA has also recommended that contracts be changed so that they are valid beyond June 30 until the end of the league programme.

Meanwhile, German referees have received special instructions for when the Bundesliga championship is resumed.  Now this is possible because the German system ensures that there is a geographic balance in the number of referees across Germany, and there is a rule prohibiting them from working in their own region.

This, of course, is completely the opposite from the PGMO rules which has no balance between the regions (quite the opposite in fact) and through which certain referees repeatedly get to control matches involving certain clubs.  Indeed such is the regional imbalance of referees in England, such regulations would be utterly impossible.

But in Germany, for the first season once football is resumed, the rules will be changed so referees will be allowed to referee within their own region.  They will however no longer be able to stay at a hotel before or after the matches and will have to go from their home directly to the stadium.  This again is not an issue in the Premier League since such rules don’t exist beyond the fact that certain clubs MUST get the same referee over and over and over and over again.

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Also in Germany, all referees will have to undergo a coronavirus test the day before the match – but referees will be able to opt-out of undertaking matches during this period.  Again the German league can do this because they have enough referees.  The Premier League system will not be able to do this, because there are so few referees, working under the unique PGMO system of some referees in the PL doing more games than any of their counterparts in other major European leagues.

Thus the Bundesliga is taking the health of referees seriously; the PGMO of course, as we know, operates its own unique system.

Elsewhere the 2020 International Champions Cup (ICC), (the pre-season friendly tournament played in Europe, the USA and Asia, has inevitably been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times has published the story that has been circulating as a rumour for days – that the current Premier League season will be resolved through a series of ghost games played at Wembley stadium.

The idea is to play four matches per day, starting in June or at the latest July.

All the players will go into hotels along with referees and TV staff, locked away to avoid contact with the virus (unless of course one of them takes it into the hotel and donates it to everyone else.  That is possible since we don’t have the testing equipment in England, even if a reliable test really does exist somewhere.)

The premier league teams will then play out the remaining fixtures, one after another at Wembley with them all shown on TV, so as to stop the TV stations and sponsors demanding their money back.

This is a London alternative to the proposal put forward by the Independent using two grounds in the north west.

As for Arsenal…

According to the Telegraph Arsenal “are looking to save around £25 million by cutting player wages if they do not qualify for next season’s Champions League,”

So that’s a bit different from signing players for £70m each or more.   And there’s a bonus incentive, because the Telegraph also says, just to make it clear, “Arsenal have proposed that their players will not have to take a pay cut as long as they qualify for next season’s Champions League.”

They quote Josh Kroenke as describing the situation as “Champions League wage bill on a Europa League budget”….

Of course that doesn’t stop the bloggettas still proposing more and more transfers.  Just try a few of these, all published today…

  • “Gunners ‘put €50m on table’ – Player now ‘one step away’ from joining Arsenal” (Sport Witness)
  • “Report: Arsenal want to bring Real Madrid’s £23m nemesis to the Emirates”  (HITC)
  • “How Arsenal are predicted to look next year after £106m summer transfer splurge” (Mirror.co.uk)
  • “Arsenal bid €50m for La Liga midfielder” (Daily Cannon)
  • “Manchester United and Manchester City join Arsenal in race for €60m centre-back (Daily Cannon)
  • “The Juventus ace dreaming of Arsenal transfer after Unai Emery’s decision” (Football.London)

Somewhere out there, there exists reality.  It is just not actually reflected in the newspapers.  Or the blogs.

3 comments to Slowly football is changing, but unfortunately not everyone is following the plot

  • Thenry

    We are heading into a depression so many people will
    Lost their jobs that football will be way down the list of priorities
    The world as we knew it will never be the same IMO
    All these stupid transfer fees will be a thing of the past
    Banks will no longer underwear huge transfer fees
    Reality will set in soon
    I see lots of clubs going bust and players wages in deflationary mode as each will undercut the other t
    Everyone go study the 1929 depression and what happened
    COYG

  • Laos Gooner

    I think it must be said that in Germany they do have a very efficient testing system which would be used for players and officials should they decide it to be needed. Here in Britain we unfortunately have the National Health Lottery. Now whilst club owners and some players might be able to afford to jump the queues for testing like Michael Gove’s daughter, can the same be said of the stewards and other support staff? It can be seen how importantly workers are regarded by the government’s treatment of NHS (NHL) staff some might argue, so is this just another utopian vision for the future which will not be met by reality? All games played at Wembley would also mean we would want all our games in the first week whilst the pitch holds up. I bet after 5 rounds of games it might be a bit threadbare in places.

  • The Wembley pitch has not had a great record since the new stadium opened. I think it was relaid 5 times within 2 years of the stadium opening.

    Something I’ve noticed about footballers over the years is that most of them sweat and spit. It’s probably not a great idea to get too close to them in the workplace.

    Will there be scheduled breaks in play to allow players to wash themselves? Would teams turn out in HazMat suits (in their team’s current choice of colours) with SCBA attachments?

    I haven’t thought this through.