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Confirmation of Behind Closed Doors Games Expected Today
Thursday, 12th Mar 2020 09:45

Plans to play all Premier League and EFL games behind closed doors could be confirmed as soon as today, it is being reported.

The Government’s emergency COBRA committee is set to meet today and move to the ‘delay’ phase of its response to the Coronovirus pandemic from the current ‘contain’ stage.

According to The Times, that will see the season move to a crisis plan which has been discussed between the Government and the football authorities.

As a result games will be played behind closed doors, rather than the alternative of the season being postponed, with EFL season ticket and match ticket holders able to watch games streamed live online via iFollow. Only players, officials, broadcasters and journalists will be allowed to attend matches.

There are worries that the loss of matchday income could lead to EFL clubs going to the wall and talks are said to have taken place regarding the potential for compensation. Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed in yesterday’s budget that £30 billion will be set aside to help tackle issues relating to the pandemic but it’s not yet known whether struggling football clubs could benefit from this.

Yesterday, Town club secretary Stuart Hayton outlined the Blues’ position as it stood: “We’re taking guidance from the EFL and their instruction at the moment is that it should be business as usual.

“The club has held an internal meeting to discuss the way forward if the situation changes.

"We have discussed the potential to bring in a mobile sanitiser unit, as was used at Twickenham for the rugby last weekend, for the game against Portsmouth at Portman Road on 21st March.

“We've also looked at the possibility of streaming matches free of charge to supporters should we be instructed to play behind closed doors like they have been in Italy and Europe.

“Like all businesses, an internal email has been sent around with guidelines about best practice regarding hygiene and what the remote working procedure would be for each department if required."

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londontractorboy57 added 09:56 - Mar 12
Lets just postpone the whole season and start again in august that would be a result.

Michael101 added 09:59 - Mar 12
Don't think the premiership clubs will be affected to much, but a lot o f. TFL clubs could struggle to make ends meet.will the government be compensat ing them??

Michael101 added 10:00 - Mar 12
Sorry e f l

M37 added 10:09 - Mar 12
Season ticket holders will miss out as usual.
We are already a game down on what we signed up for with the Bury game cancelled, with the no compensation back to us or offer of free entry to cup matches.
If clubs getting compensation then refund to season ticket holders, or discount on next season.

Fixed_It added 10:27 - Mar 12
FFS M37. I am a season ticket holder and couldn't give a stuff about a refund or a discount. I really hate such 'entitled' viewpoints - it's all 'but what about me?' with some people.

ArnieM added 10:29 - Mar 12
Strangely enough behind closed doors games at PR ( the majority of our remaining games) could actually help the players , as there would be no bad vibes from the crowd if things started to go wrong And they might be able to remain focused on the game rather than be affected by the crowds reaction . It could hrr egg Konya secure points at a time when they’re clearly feeling the pressure at home. Thus might be a blessing in disguise !

afcfee added 10:31 - Mar 12
Will we be able buy game for £10 or full ticket price? Surely if 10£ has to be a refund or se sort of rest of season?

Blue_Moses added 10:52 - Mar 12
Not sure that expecting to get something you have paid for is self entitled

PavlovsCat added 10:56 - Mar 12
M37, people are dying.

Just saying. 😡

DifferentGravy added 11:21 - Mar 12
Really Arnie.....the crowd is the reason the team have been playing so poorly and not the poor management and a number of players(slaps forehead in disbelief)

Have tickets for the Bristol R game but if it has to be done then so be it. If this is the action to be taken though then it seems ridiculous that Madrid fans were in Liverpool and Cheltenham went ahead

ArnieM added 11:31 - Mar 12
Strangely enough behind closed doors games at PR ( the majority of our remaining games) could actually help the players , as there would be no bad vibes from the crowd if things started to go wrong And they might be able to remain focused on the game rather than be affected by the crowds reaction . It could hrr egg Konya secure points at a time when they’re clearly feeling the pressure at home. I’m just saying This might be a blessing in disguise !

Oh and thanks for the down arrow : duly reciprocated

ChateauWines added 11:55 - Mar 12
Crazy scenario, that I have doubled up Cheltenham tomorrow with Bristol Rovers on Saturday with tickets for both. Racing with 75,000 others on and footy with 5,000 off. Fully expect Cheltenham to be behind closed doors as well . If that decision is made then so be it

Radlett_blue added 12:10 - Mar 12
There are far, far more important issues here than compensating football clubs (the players could take a pay cut) or fans (who have already paid for their season tickets so won't be hurt financially).

timetraveler added 12:17 - Mar 12
It’s a difficult situation with no winners. I am 70 with asthma. I was at Saturday’s game and even then wondered whether I should be there or not. If playing behind closed doors and I “loose” the value of my season ticket for the rest of this season is the price to help defeat/ contain the virus then so be it. we are all in this together.

martin587 added 12:21 - Mar 12
There’s only one priority here and that is the welfare of the general public due to the pandemic of Coronavirus.At this point in time I think money is irrelevant and health more important.

coolcat added 12:38 - Mar 12
Got a ticket to Bristol, but decided not to go due to fighting a heavy cold/cough since last week. Sent ticket back, Tuesday, for a refund, but don't mind if I don't get it tbh. First time I've sent a ticket back. Just seemed the sensible thing to do. I agree with the above. Money matters little and public health at large takes priority. I was reading something the Accrington Stanley owner said, when he said re the money shortage, he would rather take the rap now financially then lose fans in the future due to the spread of the virus.

DifferentGravy added 13:12 - Mar 12
Dont have a tizzy fit Arnie, I simply didnt agree

TJS added 13:46 - Mar 12
The Premier League could easily set aside 5-10 million and compensate EFL clubs based on their average attendances / matchday revenue. They would barely even notice it.

runaround added 13:53 - Mar 12
Surely postponing the matches to played at a later date makes more sense as some of the few people who will be at these behind closed doors matches could have covid19 & spread it to the players meaning games would then be postponed in any case whilst players self isolated?

Tractorboy1985 added 14:00 - Mar 12
People like you M37 will still be there when Evans has taken this club down a further level!! Absolute joke fans!!!! 80% are a pure embarrassment!! If you pay for a ‘season’ ticket surely you are entitled to a season!!! Utter berk!!! I’m a season ticket holder but chucked it in the bin due to Evans and the likes of yourself who have no ambition for this club!!

TimmyH added 14:17 - Mar 12
Knowing our luck we'll probably play the game of the season and nobody will see it other than PL to bang on about it...sadly will effect the small EFL teams which rely on bums on seats which seems unfair.

spanishblue added 14:55 - Mar 12
There Is the one main thing in life that apart from starving or no water, good health comes right up there, when you think your taking your last breaths believe me you pray to live and have good health, football becomes secondary,you win some you lose some

breedalot added 15:13 - Mar 12
I really dot understand the argument here? both points of view are right, games have to be played behind closed doors for safety. But if buying a season ticket works out more expensive if clubs go under and games face issues then who is going to buy season tickets? both are out of the clubs control so i dont expect money back but as a customer I expect that the club recognize they did not live up to there end of the deal and try to make that up to me in some way. they could even make money from that if they do it well, what about free friendly's over the summer, legends matches free drinks an the fan zone during the euros. It seems like good business to me, but does it to ME!

Ipswichbusiness added 15:27 - Mar 12
I don’t follow the logic of this.

We are told that the virus is a bully; it targets those over 70 and with pre-existing medical problems. The rest (I am 55) should be reasonably safe, especially as the virus isn’t keen on the open air. Therefore, I would have thought that the answer would be to give very firm advice to those in the high risk groups not to attend (and give them refunds on their season tickets) whilst the rest go as usual. If everyone congregates in pubs to watch the matches that would be worse than the low risk groups attending.

runningout added 15:37 - Mar 12
Decision makers are slow on the uptake. We should be following Italy’s measures. Consequences are worrying the money grabbers and will put the vulnerable at needless risk

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