The summer is cancelled. UEFA has officially delayed Euro 2020 for 12 months. And in its place? A post-apocalyptic TV schedule of Mrs Brown’s Boys reruns. Thanks, COVID-19.
Obviously, I’m not questioning UEFA’s decision. It was the right call. But it doesn’t half throw up some questions.
Like… what the hell are we supposed to do now? I need wonder goals, big tackles, knee slides. I wouldn’t even say no to a VAR debate right now.
Thankfully, however, the pain won’t last.
One day, our beloved teams will return to the pitches. And we’ll be back in the stands. And, what’s more, we won’t even complain about the price of a pint, because we’ll just be happy to be back.
Until that moment, however, let’s unravel the big questions on football after COVID-19.
Question One: When Might Football Return?
The short answer: no-one really knows.
The Premier League and English Football League have agreed to restart on April 30 at the earliest. But that’s a best-case scenario.
In all likelihood, the resumption will be much later. One suggestion has been to cram the remaining games into six weeks, starting June 1.
But that would mean ten Premier League games in 42 days for Sheffield United, Aston Villa, Arsenal and Man City. While the rest of the league still has nine ties each.
Throw in unfinished cup competitions and a mooted mini pre-season training and you’ll see how busy the period could get.
The one thing everyone seems to agree on, however, is that the current campaign must be completed. That is, of course, apart from a few die hard Man United fans who wouldn’t mind seeing Liverpool’s dominance end without a Premier League title.
Question Two: What Will Happen To The 2020/21 Season?
Again, that remains unclear. But, according to The Telegraph, the Premier League is planning to kick-off – as usual – in early August. And it wouldn’t surprise me if other top flight leagues followed suit.
Because a return to normality would mean leagues and clubs could honour their TV deals. And, of course, reap their lucrative rewards.
However, with the 2019/2020 season pencilled in to end just four weeks earlier, that doesn’t give players much time to rest.
Sacrifices will undoubtedly need to be made. And those pre-season tours to far-flung countries look vulnerable to me.
Question Three: What Will Happen To Euro 2020?
We already know Euro 2020 will actually take place in 2021.
Currently, the plan is to hold the tournament in 12 different countries. But ferrying thousands of fans across the continent seems unwise in these times.
Instead, UEFA official, Zbigniew Boniek, has hinted the tournament could be held in just one country. Which seems sensible.
But – and there’s always a “but” at the moment – what about the revenue loss for the other 11 countries? Or the fans who have already bought plane tickets? And what will happen to all that Euro 2020 merch that now has the wrong date on it? Only time will tell.
Question Four: What Should Football Fans Do In The Break?
First, stop watching endless Instagram stories from bored footballers. Then, head to FIFA’s YouTube channel to watch their selection of classic World Cup ties. Alternatively, visit uefa.tv to stream their offering of unforgettable Euros and Champions Leagues matches.
After, catch up on Netflix and Amazon Prime’s best documentaries about the beautiful game. If you have the former, check out Sunderland ‘Til I Die, a mini-series capturing the fall and fall of The Black Cats. While those with Amazon Prime should watch This Is Football, a beautiful tribute to everything we love about the game.
Finally, boost your bank balance and sell your old footie memorabilia at FutbolMarkt. While you’re there, join our free online community and chat to fellow fans about anything and everything football related.