PFA: There May Be No Alternative to Behind-Closed-Doors Games
Monday, 23rd Mar 2020 19:59
PFA deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes believes games will have to be played behind closed doors in order to get the season completed within a reasonable timeframe.
The Premier League and EFL are currently suspended until 30th April at the earliest due to the coronavirus pandemic but with the authorities having stated their determination to get the campaign completed. UEFA have said they want domestic seasons across Europe over by June 30th.
Town have eight games left to play, while a number of teams above them have 10 remaining and others nine.
"In an ideal world we'd be playing in front of crowds but I think it's more a case of there being no alternative," former West Ham winger Barnes told The Athletic.
"Players are realistic. We're not in an ideal world and the players I've spoken to accept that's what it will have to be.
"I've been speaking to players on a daily basis and the conversations were based around not wanting to play behind closed doors if at all possible.
"Football is about fans. But the reality for the vast majority of the players, particularly at the highest level, is their income is funded by television money and there are contracts that have to be adhered to.
"In order for us [the PFA] to be able to protect those players in terms of securing their salaries, if that's the only offer we have on the table to complete the season, then that is what it will be.”
He added: ”If we're going to get the season finished in a timely fashion so we can even consider starting next season, we've got to be open to all options.”
Prior to the fixtures being suspended 10 days ago, Town manager Paul Lambert said he is firmly against behind-closed-doors matches.
“I don’t agree with it, that’s my opinion,” he said. “I’ve played behind closed doors, I was part of the Scotland team that went to Monaco to play Estonia. They never turned up, and there was no team, there were no fans – it wasn’t great.
“And if you look at the Paris and Dortmund game, normally that would be one of the standout ties of the Champions League, nobody there and all you could hear was guys' voices or the ball being kicked, same with the Juve game.
“That’s not football because the game is about the supporters and if there are none there I wouldn’t like to play it.”
Striker Freddie Sears is also similarly against games behind closed doors, feeling the only positive would be getting the season completed.
Winger Gwion Edwards said playing behind closed doors would be “a weird experience”.
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 270 bloggers
Lambert's Goals Take Town to the Top by clivebleedingthomas
The summer of 1974 had been an anxious period for Town fans. Will he or won’t he leave us? That question hung over us as uncertainty grew about Bobby Robson’s future. Don Revie had left Leeds to take up the England job and Bobby was seen as his likely successor.
And Along Came Jim by Moggasknockdown
Life without football is a funny old thing. Currently, in these most testing of times, the idea of missing football might seem like a triviality, an inconsequential itch amidst an existential crisis. Many of us miss the routine of it, the communality and regularity of it.
City Floored by Brilliant Viljoen by clivebleedingthomas
My father, Owen Sturley Nunn, known as 'Bob' to his many friends at Portman Road, kept an archive of newspaper reports of notable Town matches. I inherited the archive upon his death in 1987 and continued to keep reports of noteworthy games.
The Way Back From Here Will Be Long, But There is a Way by SomethingBlue
It's a delicate situation now, perhaps an existential one. People need to stay engaged, focused and angry – which I know isn't easy to do given the endless stream of kicks in the teeth. But articulated vocally and consistently – which hasn't ever happened yet – it will have an effect in time.
Scapegoats by bbg
A lot of blame gets thrown about on this site and on other media with owner, manager and players on the receiving end. I haven't seen too many posts where supporters have taken the blame for the current predicament, because you had a massive role in it.
Ipswich Town Polls
[ Vote here ]