RESPONSE TO PROJECT RESTART AND TODAY’S PREMIER LEAGUE STATEMENT
It is our view and, we believe, that of the majority of Norwich City fans, that the Premier League’s Operation Restart is both ill- conceived and potentially dangerous.
At a time when Covid-19 is still rife, and with no likelihood of a vaccine in the foreseeable future, we feel that football has become something of an irrelevance, and whilst we can understand the desire to see the season completed, we can see no conceivable way in which it can be done in a safe and fair way.
The increasingly bizarre suggestions that are appearing in the media, such as players having to train in face masks and CGI fans being used on TV coverage to create atmosphere, are making a mockery of the game we love.
But, more importantly, it is becoming apparent that a number of players are already beginning to express their personal concerns about the risks to both themselves and their families. Some may refuse to play, or would only do so reluctantly and under duress. In our opinion, no player (not forgetting the numerous support staff, or the emergence services) such be put in such a position during these challenging times.
We all miss football and desperately want it back, but not at any cost, nor in a format that is highly likely to be nothing short of farcical.
We were pleased to see that this afternoon’s Premier League statement, contrary to what the media had confidently reported would be included, made no mention of specific dates and stressed that a return to football would be dependent on advice from government and scientists. We also welcome the desire to consult players and managers and trust that the League will resist pressure from broadcasters to move precipitately.
We feel that it is too early for the game to return and will continue to be so until the safety of everyone involved can be assured. In what format it eventually returns is a debate for another day, although we feel that if games cannot be played under the same conditions as the rest of the season they should not be played at all.
For the moment, however, personal safety, rather than money, must be the primary consideration.