The fudge that has been the Football Restart has led to many questions from fans when it comes to Sporting Integrity with new fangled drinks breaks serving as tactical update sessions, let alone the introduction of additional substitutes which clearly favours Sky’s top six mantra with stronger benches, but one of the main topics open for debate is simply when will fans be allowed back into stadiums.
Clearly there won’t be a loosening of restrictions for the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign, even though we can all now hit our local pubs and get drunk, but the educated guess is stadiums from the beginning of the 2020/21 season will be allowed to welcome fans back – even if it’s reduced capacity with seats closed off for a one metre social distance – pre-booking English Premier League Tickets tickets is already old hat at that level, and the Championship.
But such a scenario carries additional complications at League One and Two level with terracing, but especially for clubs at those levels, some kind of agreement and plan will have to be drawn up owing to the financial losses of fans not attending.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see whether there is a move to ticket only attendance and match day tickets become a thing of the past, as surely after a period of time that would simply become the norm and the days of just deciding to hit your local club on a whim would long be over.
Whatever the final decision is by the clubs and authorities, the main thing fans will want is for some kind of normality to return to the game, and sport in general, as it’s central to the life of many. It might not actually be that important in the grand scheme of life, but who doesn’t go into a fresh week having won at the weekend – equally who goes into a fresh week with a hangover when your side loses?
It affects us all differently, but it still affects us – and we need to get back to those highs and lows as soon as we can, as the stale, piped crowd noise fudge that we have in the top two tiers of the English game now lacks atmosphere and magic.
A new crowd will be attracted by that if it’s all they know, but there’s nothing like a first experience at a ground – the rush, the magic, the anticipation – that’s what you get hooked on first and that’s what we need to be able to give the next generation who will follow in our place