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Opinion

This football season is going to take some explaining back to people in future years

7 months ago
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As I was preparing a lovely meal the other day I suddenly developed a sneeze and that was it, I was scrambling for the sink.

Hot, soapy water was doused over both hands and face as if it was going out of fashion.

‘It’ll be the liberal amount of pepper you put in that Chilli Con Carne, you idiot’ came the shout from the other room. Nonsense! This was it and that was my mind made up. Wrap some biohazard tape round the front garden and burn any clothing worn in the last 48 hours was my immediate response.

Just as I was entering my isolation chamber on Friday morning, news broke that the football authorities were bowing to the inevitable and taking the unprecedented step of suspending all football matches the length and breadth of the country in response to the outbreak, with international governing bodies like FIFA and UEFA implementing the same measures across all European competitions.

The ruling means that there will be no Newcastle United fixtures to comment on until the suspension is lifted, which is going to be April 4th at the earliest. This also means that two upcoming matches that were due to be played this month (Sheffield United and Aston Villa) will need rescheduling along with two games against Man City in both league and cup.

Now bearing in mind the Premier League season was due to finish on May 17th, this doesn’t leave a lot of room for manoeuvre considering we will need to fit a minimum of ten games into six weeks. That’s without any further delay.

Now with me having boycotted attending football matches since Mike Ashley’s actions last summer, suspending of the fixtures over a global virus wasn’t exactly going to be the issue in terms of actually going to games but you can’t help think that the season will need to rumble on into mid-June at the very earliest.

They can’t just simply cancel the season making it null and void, that would be unprecedented and would surely and rightly be challenged in court. Championship promotion chasers would feel rightly furious missing out on the Premier League but it’s the Liverpool fans faces that would provide the most interesting picture.

Hang on a minute folks, I’ve just heard a faint knock at the door. It’s ok, it’ll just be my supermarket home delivery arriving. Hopefully the driver will take note of the hastily scrawled sign and put it in the sanitized container I left out at the end of the path before I ordered and retreated to isolation. I’ll take utmost care to wipe down every item with a homemade, barely diluted bleach I’ve concocted when I venture out in my Hazmat suit after I’ve finished writing this article.

Back in my booth and reaching worryingly for the Carex I type on . .

I’ve followed correct procedure while in self isolation. I’ve contacted work and told them what I’m doing, which went down reasonably well. I think I heard someone at the other end of the line say ‘Paul? Yeah, tell him he can self isolate for two weeks, tell him a month to be on the safe side…’ Awfully considerate of them.

But back to the subject in hand. Playing football matches in front of no fans is not what the game’s about, although many players who have worn the colours of Sunderland and Middlesbrough will feel they have been playing in front of many self isolating home fans for umpteen years without a problem…

Now I’m sorry everyone, I must get off and sort this home delivery out, still, at least I stocked up on six months worth of those toilet rolls with Mike Ashley’s face on them.

In the crazy world of football, this season is going to take some explaining back to people in future years.

I for one can’t help but wonder when and how the whole bloody thing will end now we have the Coronavirus threatening to throw the whole validity of the campaign into doubt.

Stay safe people and remember to wash your hands to the timing of that age old Geordie song –

“We are the Geordies,

The Geordie boot boys

We are mental

We are mad

We are the loyalist, football supporters,

The World has ever had .. ”

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