By Amaka Obi
The Premier League is determined at all cost to get players back on the pitch during the coronavirus pandemic and has agreed that there will be no fans in the stadiums.The guidelines set out by countries to maintain social distancing has made it impossible for supporters to gather at the stadium.
The force behind the Premier League’s “Project Restart” is to avoid having to pay back millions in TV revenue. Clubs could reportedly miss out on £762 million ($946 million) for failing to complete this season alone.
According to UEFA’s latest European Club Footballing Landscape report, just 13 percent of the Premier League’s revenue comes from gate receipts.
“We might not like it, it might not be the perfect solution, but it is the only solution that we’ve got to move forward,” David Webber, a senior lecturer in football studies at Solent University, told AFP.
Nevertheless, the quality of players and ambience brought in by the presence of thousands of fans brings in the billions in television revenues the Premier League has been able to tap into
“The whole economic model only works when the grounds are pretty full,” said Richard Scudamore, who oversaw the Premier League’s growth into a vast commercial giant from 1999 to 2018. “No actor likes playing in front of an empty hall,” he told the Telegraph.
Premier League came to a halt on March 9 and it will not return until June, with Liverpool’s title coronation on hold too
Premier League clubs are reportedly already making contingency plans to play out the whole of the 2020/21 season behind closed doors.
“It’s a strange situation not having the fans there. That’s what makes football, that’s what makes the atmosphere,” Tottenham and England midfielder Harry Winks told the BBC.
“It’s not something that I like and I know a lot of players feel the same way. It’s not something that anybody really wants to do.”