Football after lockdown
While the accusations rage on in Scottish Fitba who said what to whom, what are their names, we don’t do walking away la de da de da we turn our view to Football After Lockdown.
What will it be like? Well, there is a certain amount of crystal ball gazing required, but fortunately I have been dealing with some experts on crystal ball gazing recently.
Life after Lockdown – much to most people’s disappointment will be very similar to life under lockdown with some relaxations in certain areas, however life will not revert to normality until there is a vaccine, and until the majority of the nation are vaccinated. So we are talking 12 months for a vaccine, which could mean it would be available as early as February 2021 (12 months after development started). If we take a random number of inoculations per day of say 200,000 then we are looking at about 330days to inoculate the UK – and we all know that Scotland will be at the back of the queue. So we’re talking about full normality around February 2022 and maybe from around August 2021 there will be sufficient inoculations to allow the 21-22 season to begin as normal.
A recent study from a world class engineering office simulated office work after lockdown, and while you may wonder what this has to do with fitba, well it showed that under normal conditions safety cannot be guaranteed as 2m separation is generally impossible with pinch-points being meeting rooms / kitchens / elevators / wc’s. To work safely they had to drop the population to 25% of capacity to be able to safely navigate office life, which means that many of us will probably only be going into the office 1-2 days a week for the next 15 months or so and meetings will all be online. Otherwise companies risk getting sued, so they just won’t risk it.
Translating this into football terms, it probably means that the current capacity of Celtic Park of 60,411 could be dropped to a maximum of around 15,000 – if spectators are allowed at all for the 2020-2021 season. Seats will have to be designated at appropriate distances from neighbors – and I suspect they will put in Yellow seats or something to make sure that they are the only ones allowed to be used (or maybe temporarily remove the other seats). I can imagine fascist stewards having a field day.
I remember all too well the season after Kenny left when we were utter dross with crowds of around 15,000 and it was grim, but putting this into the current context, what does this mean for:
- Season ticket renewals that have already been issued?
- Once they realize the requirement for reduced capacity, who gets the tickets? Maybe season tickets will not be for all games – just a quarter of games to enable all fans to attend at some point. Maybe you get Celtic TV chucked into the package to sell some additional licences and allow you to see the games that you cannot attend.
- What will the playing budget be if our matchday income is slashed by ¾ for next season?
- Will PL get his annual bonus?
- How will they refund games not played this season if they cant provide a discount on next season as there will be a reduced number of tickets available?
- If the playing budget gets slashed by ¾, which players will be retained and who will be deemed too expensive?
- Will PL retain players whose contracts expire in May 2020? Probably not as he will need to slash the payroll.
For many clubs in Scotland playing to tiny crowds will not have an impact on their finances, but how will the other mob survive, if they are still a going concern in a few months time? We don’t know the answers to these questions at present, but looking on the bright side, it should be a hell of a lot easier to get parked.
The above is by Dubaibhoy. As usual its firstname.lastname@example.org for any guest article’s which are always appreciated.