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Opinion

International schedule wrecking Newcastle United and Premier League new season start up

1 month ago
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Looking at the Newcastle United and Premier League new season start up for the 2020/21 campaign, it is like the virus never happened…

Absolutely crazy the way that the authorities are ‘planning’ this first full season after the impact of the virus situation.

Zero allowances made in the scheduling for this new season, indeed it is looking like an even more crowded eight months ahead, just as many (more?) games as usual but to be played in less time!

The problem is, everybody is out for themselves (what’s new!), trying to protect and strengthen their position, working against each other rather than working together. You have UEFA with their competitions (Europa League and Champions League), the domestic leagues, the domestic cups, the national sides…

A perfect example of the lunacy at play is illustrated by the games to be played before Saturday 21 November.

There are eight rounds of Premier League games scheduled to be played before that date and indeed some clubs may play less than that, as clubs such as Man Utd and Man City are set to be given a delayed start to the season due to getting to the later stages of European competition.

Quite amazingly, look at this national side schedule, the England matches to be played before 21 November:

Saturday 5 September – Iceland v England

Tuesday 8 September – Denmark v England

Thursday 8 October – England v Wales

Sunday 11 October – England v Belgium

Wednesday 14 October – England v Denmark

Sunday 15 November – Belgium v England

Wednesday 18 November – England v Iceland

So eight rounds (less for some probably) of Premier League fixtures and seven England matches in that same time period.

I’m sorry but this is plain crazy.

Only a month for Premier League clubs to prepare for the new season and yet an international ‘break’ in the week leading up to the new league season!!! How stupid is this?

For me, they should have cancelled international football during this 2020/21 season, given club football its best chance of bouncing back successfully with the virus situation still hanging very much over us. At the very least, why haven’t they halved the competitive fixtures, so in this Nations League rubbish just play each other once, without fans (or very few in a couple of months time possibly) in stadiums it makes even more sense.

The same with Champions League and Europa League, personally I would scrap them for this coming season (what do I care about them anyway supporting Ashley’s NUFC?) but at very least why haven’t they changed it to the old knockout formula rather than leagues? Well we all know why, money!

So many competing competitions, so many matches, so much greed.

I think it is inevitable that this season is going to collapse in chaos and recriminations.

They might have had a chance of successfully getting through 2020/21 with a far lighter schedule and more wriggle room.

Also, the idea of both internationals and European club matches, whilst the virus is still rampant in so many places, does anybody really think this is going to end well? All of those national squads getting together and travelling all over the world both to meet up and then flying to play their matches, all of those club squads flying all over Europe…

Not every club or country will have the same levels of care and protection with the virus, indeed how many other clubs and leagues can afford to have the measures the likes of the Premier League and Bundesliga have?

Before we see the end of 2020 for example, Newcastle’s Miguel Almiron is set to play games for Paraguay against Peru, Argentina, Bolivia and Venzuela.

For ordinary UK citizens we are seeing MORE quarantine measures brought in for more countries, with France, Holland and others added in recent days.

Yet football is supposed to just carry on as normal only with a MORE crowded fixture schedule, domestically and internationally.

Good luck with that!

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