As football fans in the UK anxiously await when the likelihood would be of seeing some sort of action on the pitch, news reached us yesterday that the Premier League are reportedly looking into the prospect of staging matches at neutral venues to complete the season. However, understandably so, this has faced strong opposition from clubs at the bottom of the table, such as Brighton who were due to play five of their final nine games at their home base of the Amex.
Not only do the football authorities need to look seriously into this suggestion, but the prospect of no fans inside any neutral venue will seem very surreal.
It would certainly make a difference having very little noise inside a stadium- after all fans make noise inside a ground which generates an atmosphere that players feed off. Yes, teams would find it very hard to adapt to this strange setting, and with no sound level, would that not take out the competitiveness of the game being played. I certainly fear this would happen.
Something else to consider, imagine the scenario when a team score a goal, how will the player react without the roar of a crowd. Most certainly the celebrations would be muted.
Despite other solutions that have been talked about, as it stands at this moment in time, football looks to be on the verge of having to play behind closed doors for a long time. Fans are the life and soul of any club. Most will follow their team through thick and thin. Any player and Manager will always tell you that fans will always be the 12thman, but with the problems we are going through at this moment in time, for once football fans are going to have to take a back seat and be patient.
There has also been talk of going ahead with the matches with minimum movement and risk to the players. This quite simply needs to happen, as the upmost priority in this debate must be the players welfare, safety and health at all times.
After all, it would only take a single player to be tested as positive for Covid-19 to send panic signals around the football world.
We all want to see the beautiful game at some point this year, but it must be done only when it is safe to do so for all parties involved.
Article written by Peter Moore