Football is on hold, suspended until at least 30 April due to the Coronavirus outbreak that is sweeping the world. The various campaigns have swept past the 75% stage and both fans and their teams should be looking at the final stretch. Except they aren’t, not by any stretch of the imagination. Now players are coming around to the idea of playing behind closed doors says a story carried by The Athletic.

The Football Association, the Premier League and the Football League have all committed to completing this current season and have done so full in the knowledge that this could extend way past what would be a normal May end to the campaign.

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Now there is real talk of May becoming something of a mini pre-season and a chance for players to acclimatise themselves and get used to being back in full training rather than following the ubiquitous ‘personalised plans’. However, when they are back up to speed it could still be a time when social distancing still rules the roost.

That would mean the almost inevitable possibility that games would need to be behind closed doors to facilitate an end to a season of an unprecedented nature. PFA deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes said, in words carried by The Athletic, that player stance had changed recently from one where they were averse to playing behind closed doors to an acceptance that this was likely an avenue to be explored.

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Saying that “the players get it“, Barnes goes on to add:

“If it means playing behind closed doors has to happen in order that contracts are protected, fixtures fulfilled and commercial deals honoured, then I think we’ve all got to come together and accept we’ve all got to make sacrifices to try and find a solution for the industry as a whole.”
Bobby Barnes – PFA deputy chief executive

Whilst it is far from ideal, perhaps playing that in the sterile environment of ‘behind closed doors’ is the only way to get this current campaign over its stretched finishing line and prepare clubs, players and fans for the 2020/21 campaign.

About Author

My usually loud cynicism has turned to quiet optimism with the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds United. I'm a father to three loud children; two fully-grown and one eight-year-old who thinks he is. My main job is in teaching but I find it cathartic to write about football when the opportunity arises. I mostly write about Leeds United but turn my hand to other clubs.