A big ‘exclusive’ has emerged from The Times this morning, claiming ALL English football matches will soon be played behind closed doors under government plans to combat Coronavirus – a plan that could be triggered as early as today.
The report also reveals how fans will be able to watch games when these plans take full effect (see key points below), with streaming services expected to be available for season-ticket and ticket holders.
We’re all awaiting official confirmation, but this means Saturday’s game against Sheffield United *could* be played inside an emtpy St James’ Park, while next weekend’s FA Cup quarter final with Manchester City looks almost certain to be played behind closed doors as things stand.
As a result, the following measures will be put in place, according to The Times‘ Martin Hardy:
- The current season will not be postponed and instead matches in the Premier League and lower divisions will be moved behind closed doors
- All Premier League season-ticket holders and ticket holders for individual games will be able to stream coverage of matches into their homes
- No games will be shown in pubs so as to avoid congregation of people
- Premier League games will not be shown live in the 3pm slot on Saturday afternoons
- Broadcasters will be permitted to screen more than one Premier League game during both the lunchtime and tea-time television slots on Saturday, and the scheduled slots on Sundays and Mondays
- Season-ticket holders and ticket holders for individual games at Football League clubs will be allowed to watch matches on iFollow streams.
The necessary precautions must be taken to protect those at risk of picking up the virus, yet it’s just our luck that a we may not be able to attend the first FA Cup quarter final we’ve seen at St James’ Park in many a year!