The nature of the coronavirus pandemic has decimated team sport as we know it over the past few months, and though there is light at the end of the tunnel in terms of playing matches, the outlook isn’t so good for supporters.
Thanks to technology, those supporters watching matches from home can use the option to have piped in crowd noise, but when you watch the footage in its natural state, the atmosphere is reminiscent of a training game.
Football stadiums need supporters in them, and not just for the financial aspects either. They create the buzz and the atmosphere around stadia worldwide.
However, it could be another year before Premier League stadiums are at full capacity according to James Calder, chairman of the British government committee.
“Whilst we’ve got a virus around without a vaccine, I think it’s going be very, very difficult to do (fill stadiums to capacity). I really can’t see that happening in the next year,” Calder said on social media and cited by the Daily Mirror.
“If there’s a vaccine that comes out, that’s been proven to be effective or if the virus mutates and that isn’t as dangerous, then it may open (stadiums fully) but I can’t see it happening really until next year at the earliest.
“We’re probably looking at a maximum 25% full capacity, perhaps in some stadiums, it may be down to 17% and there’s a financial viability there as to whether it’s viable to open up the stadium.”
With football clubs losing money hand over fist because of the inability of supporters to be allowed through the turnstiles, and the associated spend they bring on match days, the news isn’t what anyone wants to hear.
That said, public safety must come first and as long as everyone remains patient and sensible, full stadiums will soon be a reality again.