Plans for fans to return to football/ Tottenham in October is now called off
Were you looking forward to going back? Of course, you were, and so was I. It has been nearly eight months since I went to my last game, and that was in March, and it was an away game, to Leipzig, in Germany. I hadn’t missed a home game since the late 70s and an English away game since the 90s. And I am not getting any younger.
Wouldn’t it be terrible if we won some silverware and no supporters were allowed to witness it? That would seriously piss us off.
Anyway… Government minister Michael Gove said that fans won’t be returning to their grounds in October. Plans were placed under review earlier this month after a rise in coronavirus cases, with pilot events restricted to 1,000 people. The UK’s Covid-19 alert level has now moved to 4, meaning transmission is “high or rising exponentially”. New measures will be set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday (today).
Gove speaking to BBC Breakfast, confirmed plans for a staged return of fans would be “paused”. He also said, “We were looking at a staged programme of more people returning – it wasn’t going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans. We’re looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme, but what we do want to do is to make sure that, as and when circumstances allow, get more people back. The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors but again it’s in the nature of major sporting events that there’s a lot of mingling.”
The pilot programme will also be paused.
As you will know, football in this country have been played behind closed doors since the coronavirus lockdown in March. Football matches that took place with full crowds in March shortly before all fixtures were postponed and the UK locked down have come under examination.
The leaders of more than 100 sports bodies have written to the prime minister to ask for emergency funding, warning of “a lost generation of activity” because of the virus.
Earlier this month, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said it was “absolutely critical” the supporters were allowed back inside stadiums as soon as possible, and failure to do so would cost clubs £700m during the 2020-21 season. English Football League clubs lost £50m in gate receipts last season and estimate a £200m loss if there are no fans this season.
As for the Layton Orient game tonight, still no official news, however, according to some media outlets it has been cancelled. The BBC sports webpage is till showing it as going ahead.
So, there you have it. The long wait to return is going to be an even longer wait. And even if we get the virus numbers down, it will still be around, waiting to bounce on anybody that gathers in groups or high numbers. According to the authorities, it won’t be until next year until a vaccine is found (if we are lucky).
Stay safe and take care,