Can football survive if even Premier League is hanging in the balance?

source: StadiumDB.com

Can football survive if even Premier League is hanging in the balance? In early weeks of the pandemic it was suggested that wealthier clubs would show financial solidarity towards the smaller and less affluent ones. Now the entire model of football as we know it is in question.

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The Netherlands banned all sports until September, Ireland went for a ban on all mass gatherings until autumn, too. And it happened on the same day. Even earlier a suggestion of a year-long ban on gatherings came from Wales. So it's no longer a question of how football leagues could complete the suspended season, rather how will football look at all.

Just like tourism, football is dependent almost entirely on how many people actually show up for games. While ending the current campaign without fans inside is a temporary solution some could digest, can you imagine funding clubs for another season without people being physically involved? Surely not to the tune we now know.

Emirates Stadium

Of course, you can still sell merchandise online, produce quality video or even offer free bets uk to fans for whatever games would actually take place, but it's something nobody – literally nobody – was prepared for. Now that may be something to wrap our heads around.

Obviously, even playing behind closed doors doesn't mean playing an entirely empty stadium. As per the new Bundesliga guidelines, no fewer than 322 people would have to be involved to stage just one professional game. According to ESPN, a similar number would be required in Premier League, while between 150-200 people in Championship. With similar numbers expected in other major European leagues, this could become a point of conflict with local authorities, for whom it could rise to the rank of a mass gathering already.

But let's presume it doesn't. We're still looking ad over 40,000 empty seats per average Bundesliga game and not much fewer in Premier League grounds. With each league relying on its atmosphere for at least part of the public image, executives are now trying to work out just how they could replace the quality lost along with people.

One idea, much ridiculed nearly immediately after announcement, would see Premier League stadia 'dressed up', with artificial sound, additional lighting and possible decorations. The ridicule was to be expected, especially since it's an opportunity for opposition fans to indicate another clubs could use some loudspeaker noise for proper atmosphere. But there might be something to the idea.

“Could we make the stadium better than just blue empty seats in our case? Could we look at noise being brought into the stadium in some way, but is that really what the fans at home would want and is that what the broadcasters would want?” asks Brighton and Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber.

"I would rather see the blue seats covered. We could put up a great message to thank the NHS of course and we can use the space we have got for good purposes, without a doubt. Then you've got the operational challenges: how would it work in terms of the emergency services? The last thing we would want is to put any more pressure on them." Barber wonders, speaking to The Telegraph.

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