‘Season should not finish behind closed doors’ – Port Vale supporters chairman



The football season should not be played out behind closed doors, says Port Vale Supporters Club chairman Mark Porter.

The EFL hopes the 2019/20 season can be played out on the pitch, potentially this summer. That will depend on government advice about coronavirus, but the league say, if games can go ahead, they are expected to be without a crowd and broadcast to fans. 

Meanwhile, League Two clubs have a video conference today amid reports that some clubs would sooner cancel the rest of the season because of the financial cost of finishing behind closed doors.

Porter says football shouldn’t resume until it is safe to play in front of a crowd.

He said: “Personally I don’t think they should play football without the fans there. Football is not football without the fans.

“We have been in meetings where players have said supporters have become the 12th man and given them a lift.  That is great. But there would be no fans there so we can’t give them that lift. Being at home would be no advantage.

“Also, if it is not safe for fans to be there, how can players socially distance? Also, if they were to offer players tests they would be distinguishing between them and Joe Public.

“Is it really fair to club owners? They would have to bring staff back and some clubs may have furloughed them. There are cost implications with no revenue coming in from the fans.

He added: “I have had emails from fans who have been going for 30-40 years who don’t think games should be behind closed doors.

“But I have also had some from fans saying we should be allowed to finish the season with teams going up and down.”

Porter is concerned that playing games could encourage supporters of clubs around the country to turn up to their club’s stadiums. 

He says ideally this season should be finished whenever it is eventually safe for fans to attend.

Port Vale were eighth, one point off the play-off places, when the season was suspended in March. 





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