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Opinion

This is brilliant from Javier Tebas on football restarting

5 months ago
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Javier Tebas has been talking about the topic of when football can kick off again.

Tebas is the president of La Liga who saw the Spanish government this past week approve a protocol for sporting activity.

For football, this paves the way for La Liga clubs to begin testing players on Monday with a view to the clubs returning to training the following week.

La Liga hoping to able to play games starting in mid-June, if the virus situation continues to improve and allow it.

With regard to the issues and debate surrounding the return of professional football, Javier Tebas has been speaking intelligently about the realities of the situation. What he says of course, equally applies to the Premier League as well as La Liga, the same with Serie A and the Bundesliga who are also working towards the return of football and completing this 2019/20 season.

Javier Tebas saying:

“I do not understand why there would more danger in playing football behind closed doors, with all precautionary measures, than working on an assembly line, being on a fishing boat on the high seas.

“If important economic sectors cannot restart, in a safe and controlled manner, they could end up disappearing. That could happen to professional football.

“In Spain, football is an important economic driver that we need to reactivate like many others.

“We continue to focus on this reactivation, in a responsible manner and adhering to health recommendations, as soon as possible.”

I am fed up reading stuff from attention seeking journalists who talk about it being impossible for football to return any time in the near future, even behind closed doors, as though it was some kind of a special case that should be treated differently to every other industry and aspect of society. I also read quotes from players and others involved in football, stating even behind closed doors games can only happen when it is 100% safe to do so.

There will never be a 100% safe time, that is not reality, whatever kind of work you do.

As Javier Tebas brilliantly puts it, it is ridiculous to claim there would be more danger of playing football behind closed doors, with all the extra precautions top tier football can afford, compared to those working in factories (assembly line) or out on a fishing boat.

It is pure arrogance and disrespect if any football players think they can indefinitely stay away from work unlike NHS cleaners, supermarket workers, those working in the food supply chain and so on, never mind the doctors and nurses at the very frontline.

As Javier Tebas also points out, basic economics apply to professional football in the same way they apply to any other industry.

If all the furloughed workers at a factory currently closed refuse to go back to work once lockdown is eased, the company / business goes bust and all the workers lose their jobs, then can’t pay their mortgages etc etc…

Whilst nobody is feeling sorry for those in the Premier League in a financial sense at the minute, whether owners, management or players, the reality is that money doesn’t magically appear. They need football to be playing on the pitch or else there is no money, simple as that.

I hear some fans and journalists saying just end this season now and then start the 2020/21 Premier League only when back to normal with full stadiums and so on.

I have no big sympathy for those who own PL clubs, in most cases anyway, but not completing this current season would lead to serious financial problems and probably legal challenges, as Ligue 1 are now finding after the French government ordered their season to end this week.

As for everything being back to ‘normal’, I have a feeling that will be a long way down the line, I doubt we will see fans allowed before the new year and certainly not 52,000 inside St James Park any time before 2021.

It is a case of making the best of a difficult situation, just as we are all having to do in our jobs and lives in general.

None of want to see behind closed doors games but that is what must happen for the time being and surely we want to see as many football clubs survive as possible? Just like me and you, when Premier League players are asked to get back to work, then that is what they have to do.

I think it is inevitable that we are going to see a lot of clubs in the other three divisions go out of business in this crisis, sad but inevitable. Even in normal times we have seen the likes of Bury and others fold, football clubs are not immune. The lower down you go the less resource clubs have to fall back on and the more reliant they are on ticket money.

We know that money hasn’t been distributed fairly throughout football BUT if the Premier League isn’t generating the usual revenues, there will be nothing at all to trickle down.

It isn’t that nobody cares about the health and safety of Premier League players, it is simply the case that nobody cares about the health of football players any more than they do about the health of somebody working in your local shops, hospitals or factories.

We are all in this together, or at least we should be.

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