I think we could be getting into severe problems if this turned out to be the case.
Whilst there has been plenty of talk about when clubs can and will expect to be playing football again, there still remains the question of when fans will be allowed in to watch them. And according to one source, that could be some time.
Speaking to Sky Sports ‘The Football Show’ (via Birmingham Live), Burton Albion chief Ben Robinson talked about the conversations had with the EFL’s chairman Rick Parry and how he believed that crowds wouldn’t be allowed into grounds until 2021:
“An even bigger concern is about next season. In the meeting yesterday, Ricky Parry, the EFL chairman, said that he thought the season might not start until next year when the games are played with fans attending. You can imagine the financial implications of that are considerable. He didn’t think crowds would be in stadiums until 2021, that was his personal view. It could take as long as that to get gate receipts flowing back into clubs.”
Now, this is something that could really be damaging to the clubs concerned, especially teams like Birmingham.
Can you see the 2020/21 season being played behind closed doors?
We’ve seen the drastic measures that the club have had to take to get the club through this recent spell of playing no games at all and leading into the last few weeks of the season where the club are missing out on the final five home games.
However now you’re getting into territory of the club having to miss out on another half a season’s worth of home games (so roughly ten to twelve) for clubs who like Birmingham make a large portion of their income through match day revenue. And whilst that might be somewhat offset by games being streamed for the foreseeable future, unless you’re charging the same price as you would a match ticket, it’s just not going to totally cover the costs required.
It looks like there needs to be more planning ahead to make sure that the financial side of the game doesn’t get too badly affected.