Martin Smith: Threat of second spike puts football into perspective again

Fans back by October?

Monday, 21st September 2020, 1:38 pm
Crowd pilots, like the one at Charlton Athletic v Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, could be in jeopardy due to the rising number of coronavirus cases. Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

Don’t bank on it - though most clubs are doing exactly that.

Clubs desperate for the life-affirming click of the turnstiles and the cash that paying customers bring are holding their breath as the long-feared second spike stalks the land.

You know it’s serious when they wheel out the men in white coats to address the nation.

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It brings back that suspended animation feel of April and May lockdown.

But for others its low-life as usual as the fair-weathers tweet their toxic tripe about their OWN CLUBS because they haven’t satisfied their every transfer fantasy.

The word ‘announce’ has become synonymous online with the spoilt and self-obsessed as ‘fans’ cry and stamp petulant Twitter feet while ‘their’ club lets them down by not signing this or that star tipped by normally reliable journalists.

Tiers of the clowns, you might say.

Football is huge and the Premier League is the biggest football draw in the world with a global audience of billions.

But pretty soon the game is going to look like the triviality it actually isn’t if the trajectory for covid infections stays as steep as it is.

Right now a good result is a negative test rather than an away win at Everton or Reading.

Anti-vaxxers will rail against control and for some a legitimate concern for freedoms turns to conspiracy theories of ‘cabals of deep state satanic paedophiles enslaving the world’.

Er, yeah, ok mate but does that mean we can’t go for a pint before the game?

Back on earth though it does seem we had a bit too much fun in work, our back-yard bubbles and pub gardens, some of us even went on public transport!

Disappointment at restrictions on freedom can easily turn to anger and despair, people lash out.

It should be the time of year when all we have to worry about is how our team is doing and whether our kids are staying up all night watching American sports online, Clippers, Cardinals and all that Jazz.

Halcyon days of parental yore when that was the sum of our concerns.

*You don’t have to be a Wednesdayite to see the Owls bottom of the Championship on minus eight points after a decent start seems weird and wrong.

But that’s the reality of their 12-point deduction for breaking financial rules and one that will test Garry Monk and the morale of his side through this already trying season.