The UK Government gave the Premier League permission to continue the season behind closed doors as of June 1st. The league has been meeting to figure out their restart plan, along with how to handle player contracts and other details as such.
This is the latest in a line of mud that’s been thrown at the wall through this shutdown.
They’ve talked about playing at neutral sites and not telling fans. Fans will find out. They’ll flock. This is exactly what everyone has been waiting for.
Perth was tossed out there as a possibility. Flying 20 teams’ worth of players to a city in another country across the world hardly seems like the solution. The Premier League is one that has widespread international appeal. This feels like strike two, right?
Multiple players from Brighton & Hove Albion have tested positive as recently as last week. Players are coming back to limited training sessions and are testing positive. That should raise all the red flags we need. There are further reports that six others in the league, who are not going to be identified, have also tested positive.
Frank Lampard said they shouldn’t be testing players, and instead should be testing front line essential workers. And he’s right. I wanted to write a piece about how it was absurd that NBA players were being tested two months ago. Because front line workers need access to it. Patients exhibiting all the symptoms need access to it. But I couldn’t get out of my own way. Anyway, Fat Frank has his priorities straight. (To all my fellow Spurs fans, yes I did just throw up in my mouth a little bit.)
I. Don’t. Get. It.
I understand there’s a lot of complexity around what could happen if things stay as they are now. And, frankly, I don’t care. Hand Liverpool the title already. I don’t have a solution for relegation. It would be just their luck if Leeds finally looked to get back into the Premier League, only for a worldwide pandemic to be all that stands in their way. I worry that the season will be voided. But at the same time, who cares?
Let’s take a step back. Sports don’t matter. I mean, of course they do. I write about them, and we drop a new piece every day to look back to in this crazy time. It helps us cope. We feel a sense of normalcy. But we can look back on so many years of any sport to get our fix.
In the meantime, let’s not put people in potential danger. Seriously, rushing back to play just so we can see who will make the playoffs or who will win the championship or who will get relegated is irresponsible.
Germany is one of the few countries that has actually handled the Coronavirus relatively well, all things considered. And they hit speed bumps trying to get the Bundesliga back off the ground. They did it, but it wasn’t easy. Meanwhile, back in England, parts of the government didn’t take it seriously enough until their own Prime Minister was hospitalized with it. And now their government has okayed a restart without fans in June.
Now’s Not the Time to Experiment
This isn’t anything to fuck with. It sucks. I know. Trust me. I want the sports I’m watching to mean something. I want to be elated when Harry Kane nets one against Arsenal. But we’re a long way off. And if we want things to go back to any sense of normalcy, it has to be this way. The more we false start, the longer it’s going to be.
Stock up on your video games, y’all. Stay home, and don’t expect others to be out and about to entertain you while you’re there.
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