It’s fascinating piecing together all the component parts of this outbreak and the impact it’s having on the Premier League.
Firstly, I didn’t realise the league cancelled NOT because huge gathering of the proles could be a problem for society, oh no, they cancelled when Mikel Arteta was diagnosed because they worried about how long it’d take players to come back to full fitness. This line from The Guardian captures it neatly.
A Premier League club executive, who did not want to be named given the acute sensitivities of this crisis, said sports scientists’ advice is that a player needs one day of training for every day of isolation before they can be match fit. So the advisory 14-day isolation doubles to 28 days out of action. It appears close to impossible for squads, managers, coaching and other staff to operate at full strength as the virus spreads, peaks and runs its course.
Bit grim that it was players recovery times… not the idea that a stadium of 60,000 people is a hotbed of contagion that could kill people.
The dawning reality for football execs up and down the country is that the season is looking ever more likely to be cancelled.
Check out the podcast at the bottom of this post where I talk through some hypotheticals with Alex. We discussed a couple of areas that look less likely today. One of my unbelievable EUREKA JOHNSON moments centred around the problems of cancelling the season, I suggested we SHOULD play the season out to stop legal challenges. The bonus is we would resync world football and start next season in January. The benefit would be that we’d be in good shape for the Qatar World Cup. However, most players contracts run to June 30th, which would cause a headache for clubs. I don’t really buy that, we’re changing the season in 2 years, why not now? It’d be better for everyone if this season was finished fairly.
Apparently, there’s a taste for nullifying the league right now but in a less extreme way that Karen Brady is suggesting (namely, letting clubs have last seasons spots). Promote WBA and Leeds, give Liverpool the title, and make all the leagues bigger for a year by not relegating anyone. I could be onboard with that, but I’d be pretty miffed if Arsenal lost out on Europe. We’re very much in the mixer. If we win our game in hand, we’re two points from United. Sure, we’ve been shite all season, but so have United, hence their drab points total.
I WOULD SUE
… and there is the problem, if I can’t play nicely, do you really think Don Raul is going to forsake that Champions League pot of gold he bet this summers transfer budget on? I have my doubts. However unlikely Champions League seemed, it was on the cards. I think we’d have even more of a chance if Arteta had 3 months to practice his ideas with the team. We’d be fitter, smarter, and we’d have a few games to build into the City game (the game in hand).
Another BOBBY DAZZLER of an idea we were mulling was a European Cup Cup Comp™. Isn’t that a pithy name?
If we’re settled on Leicester, Liverpool and City as the Top three, we could play a knockout for the remaining European places. Maybe we could run a futsal league? 8 teams battle it out. The winners take home Europe. The final could be called the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL, you know, because both teams would qualify? I can work on nomenclature, keep with me here, it’s a good idea, we’re moving things forward and you damn well know it.
The really interesting impending firestorm is the one around TV money. Do fans get their subs back from the TV companies? Or is it force majeur (get fucked in French)? Part of the problem is we pay monthly, so fans will just cancel the football part. The question focusing on whether the TV companies take back the money they’ve lost in upfront payments? It ‘could’ be solved by growing the league by 3 teams and giving the TV firms the extra games for free next season. The Premier League might also have to drop their pants on 3pm kickoffs and give Sky a sniff at those. We could also see a relegation playoff introduced like they have in other countries, that’d help plump up the lost advertising revenue.
Damn, we are solving issues at a rate of knots today chaps and chapesses.
On the Mikel Arteta front, he’s doing well according to his wife.
“My husband is feeling fine, he is well. It’s true that he had symptoms of the virus but the symptoms would have never stopped him from going to work in a normal situation.”
I love that she’s just admitted that Mikel usually takes his illness into work. What a pig.
Before I go though, I haven’t seen my GF for the best part of 2 months, she came home yesterday. I foolishly thought I’d slink out and support the people in restaurants who won’t be earning any money… thinking New York would be a ghost town. My oh my, it was fucking packed. The sun was out, people were playing in the park, and all the bars were fucking rammed. Then I read this today and felt real guilty.
If you’e still hanging with friends, going to restaurants/bars, and acting like this isn’t a big deal, get your shit together.
The following thread is taken from an Italian citizen.
As they put it:
“To the rest of the world, you have no idea what’s coming.”
— Yano (@JasonYanowitz) March 14, 2020
Calm before the storm after reading that bad boy! Stay safe and pretend those canned kidney beans are a dining delight by serving them up artfully!
Right, I guess that’s me done for today. Let me know if there are any topics you want me to write about over the coming weeks.
We’re going to have A LOT of time to kill….