Yesterday afternoon I switched on to BT Sport to have a look at the closing stages of one of the Bundesliga games. I was curious to see what playing in empty stadiums would look and sound like and as test case for when the Premier League eventually returns, I thought it’d be worth seeing what the deal was.
I wish I hadn’t have bothered. It was pretty painful for me if I’m honest with you. The noises of the players and coaches made it sound like I was back in Epping in my teens, playing five-a-side in an indoor sports hall, with the sounds of my uncle in goal reverberating around the echoing hall. It was like watching a training match and with no fans it also felt like there was less intensity during the game I watched.
If this is what the Premier League will be when it returns – and I think we all know that’s exactly what it will be – then I can totally understand why the broadcasters want a portion of the sponsorship money back, because there’s no way that’s the same product that they paid top dollar for in the latest round of bidding that happened way back when.
This season feels like it’s going to drag on. It feels like the last ten games of Arsenal’s season are going to feel like a hundred games I reckon. Perhaps I’m alone in this, but I kind of just want the season to be done now, because I can’t see myself getting much joy from it until the new season/fans return to the grounds.
And I know I’m not the first to say this, but perhaps now the boradcasters, Premier League and clubs will realise just how important the match day fan is. I am one and as a match day fan I feel like the needs of myself and my colleagues has essentially been ignored of late. VAR was for TV. kick offs at 12pm on a Sunday is for TV. Monday night football in which the away team has to travel the length of the country and then get back ion the early hours of the morning – it’s all for TV. But now the importance of the fans inside the ground and the intensity that they bring is being realised and the broadcasters are seeing this, perhaps a bit more consideration can be taken when planning out for the future of football after all of this goes back to normal?
It’s probably a frivolous pipe dream, but i’d like to think that some good can come from the mess that the coronavirus has caused to the football world, and the match day fan could benefit for a change. There would probably need to be some kind of collective of fans to come together to provide a voice, a kind of spokesperson for match day fans to talk to the footballing authorities to ensure that when everything does go back to normal we get the most optimum experience for those people who really do bring the passion and intensity to games.
But who am I kidding. Football will just look to chase the almighty dollar and there’s not really a lot we can do about it. Other than live in hope.
That’s it from me today. A short one as I try to get abck into the habit of daily writing again!
Catch you guys tomorrow.