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Games Behind Closed Doors

Players accept that matches will have to be held behind closed doors when the football season resumes, says Professional Footballers' Association deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes.

Football in England is suspended until at least 30 April because of the coronavirus pandemic, although the Football Association, Premier League and EFL want the season to be finished.

"In an ideal world we'd be playing in front of crowds but I think it's more a case of there being no alternative," Barnes told The Athletic.

"Players are realistic. We're not in an ideal world and the players I've spoken to accept that's what it will have to be.

"I've been speaking to players on a daily basis and the conversations were based around not wanting to play behind closed doors if at all possible.

"Football is about fans. But the reality for the vast majority of the players, particularly at the highest level, is their income is funded by television money and there are contracts that have to be adhered to.

"In order for us [the PFA] to be able to protect those players in terms of securing their salaries, if that's the only offer we have on the table to complete the season, then that is what it will be."

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, whose side are 25 points clear at the top of the Premier League, said he would be "gutted" for the club's fans if they were absent when the Premier League title was secured.

But Barnes believes players are coming round to the idea of playing matches in empty stadiums.

"If we're going to get the season finished in a timely fashion so we can even consider starting next season, we've got to be open to all options," added Barnes.

posted 2 weeks ago


"Vamos carajo"

Victor Orta, naughty!.

I Doogled it and was shocked!.

posted 2 weeks ago

comment by Jonty

“Completely agree GT but you can see all PFA are really concerned about.

Great to see some clubs players taking salary cut to ensure lesser paid staff still get paid, but lets face it, many players could take a decent cut and still survive very comfortably.”

Survive very comfortably for your or my lifestyle. The more people earn, the higher their overhead. Not necessarily proportionally so.

Mane at Liverpool publicly eschews living the high life but I bet still has higher fixed costs than most of us.

Time for us and many on Sky Sports to climb down from our ivory towers and off our high horses when talking about players taking cuts. I haven’t heard any of the Sky people taking cuts yet Sky’s revenue us way down!

PFA serving their function by the way - acting in the best interests of their members!

My opinions for what they are worth.

comment by Stoopo (U4707)

posted 2 weeks ago

Coronavirus: All football below National League to end https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52052351

comment by Sol (U2745)

posted 2 weeks ago

comment by Stoopo (U4707)
posted 34 seconds ago
Coronavirus: All football below National League to end https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52052351
From your link:

All football in England below the three divisions that make up the National League will end immediately and all results will be expunged.

It means there will be no promotion or relegation in these leagues.

comment by Stoopo (U4707)

posted 2 weeks ago


posted 2 weeks ago

Too much money involved to do this in higher leagues.

posted 2 weeks ago

Good news for Harrogate Town so far.

comment by Jonty (U4614)

posted 2 weeks ago

It's the simplest course of action to take and the longer this goes on the more likely it is to be seen as the solution for the other leagues.

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

This can be done.

players have been in near lockdown like the rest of us and soon all will be able to say they and their family have not had and do not have any symptoms.

Stadiums are large places, everyone wears masks and gloves and has sanitisers when not a player or ref/liner during the game itself. Everyone not on the pitch can be two metres away from everyone else.

All non players are in the stands somewhere, social distancing, closest personnel are physics and club doctors, and players get team talks via their phones using video conference services.

Kit is sorted the day before, players take their own food and drinks.

This could be done with a start at beginning May. It would be a fillip to the country, increasing optimism and season could be finished in 6 weeks

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

I don't understand how the FA could take that decision for lower leagues. If they do not start a new professional season until, say, 2022 because the previous season needs to complete, the very same delay can be given to other leagues.

It feels premature

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