English Football Authorities Send Open Letter
The biggest authorities concerning football in the UK have co-signed an open letter to the government. The organizations include the EFL, the Women’s Championship, the WSL, and the Premier League. The letter concerns allowing fans to return to the stadiums.
The number of coronavirus cases in the UK is on the rise. There are more than 530,000 people infected at the time of writing. It is possible that the stadiums are going to remain closed for another six months. This could be financially devastating to the world of football. National League clubs received financial support from the government, but a few leagues and divisions are without such aid.
The open letter was issued on Tuesday. Richard Masters, David Baldwin, Mark Bullingham, and Kelly Simmons signed it. In it, the heads of English football authorities are addressing the public. They are assuring them they are working hard on allowing the fans to come back as soon as possible.
“We know attendance at matches can play a positive role in people’s lives during these challenging times. And the past few months have shown how clubs can still feel the support of their fans,“ says the letter. The organizations have started sharing the open letter across social media. The idea is to better inform the public on their stance on the issue.
Can It Be Done?
The organizations are going to keep urging the Government to start opening the stadiums safely. 11 football events have already passed with experimental safety measures. This makes the chiefs certain that slowly opening up football events on all levels is possible.
“We are determined to identify a path forward with Government. We need clarity for our clubs and for you as supporters as to what the roadmap for change in this area looks like.”
The reason for the open letter comes from the Government’s concern over the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the UK in the past month. Other nations in Europe hold football matches without major issues. However, Boris Johnson is still not budging. The open letter asks for sports to receive the same treatment as other public activities.
Realistically speaking, there are several safety measures that the stadiums can implement. These include one-way systems, masks, temperature checks, and social distancing. Furthermore, we can expect the stadiums to allow around 25% of their capacity.
Why Do They Still Insist?
Minor leagues and division do not have any financial backup from the UK. They cannot earn enough money through matches without an audience. In other words, football is slowly going down. This is especially true if Johnson’s plan of keeping the country closed for another six months stays in place.
Furthermore, there are other businesses that feel the negative impact of games behind closed doors. The financial issue is the most concerning. However, it is not the only one. More and more football players are experiencing mental health issues. It is not just the football fans and the football chiefs that are fighting anxiety and concerns for the future. Plans are already in place to facilitate the transition.