Lou Macari: Here’s my two-pronged solution to football’s big fixture crisis



“I don’t know if this is a solution to football’s current crisis, but it’s worth a shot.

Let me say first that there is no perfect solution, obviously, but I think mine would cause less aggro than most.

If you end the season now, or declare it null and void, all kinds of lawsuits could fly around.

So how do we finish the season, in a reasonable time scale?

If we wait until it’s safe to resume football normally, we’d be in for a very long wait the way things are going.

So my solution is to resume playing games behind closed doors as soon as it is considered safe.

Hopefully, we are then talking about the season ending some time in early June.

We’d have to postpone Euro 2020 until next year, but I think that’s a given whatever happens now.

And the FA Cup, much as I love the competition, would probably have to go as well this year because cup competitions are disposable in this unique situation.

The leagues, with expensive promotion and relegation issues to decide, have to be the top priority.

Now when I say play the games behind closed doors I do so with a heavy heart because professional football is about supporters, but these are desperate times requiring desperate solutions.

The argument against games being played with crowds is not just the transmission issue, but having to have the emergency services and what-have-you on hand when they would be needed elsewhere.

But behind-closed-doors games would minimise that because we are only talking about essential people attending the fixtures.

Now, straight away, I can hear the owners of small clubs in the Football League protesting at games being played with no fans because of the financial implications.

The likes of Port Vale and Crewe would be able to complete their battle for promotion, for instance, but lose thousands in lost gate money, hospitality and all the rest of it.

But just as neighbours look after neighbours in our towns and cities at times of crisis, so they should in football too.

Now, straight away, I can hear the owners of small clubs in the Football League protesting at games being played with no fans because of the financial implications.

The likes of Port Vale and Crewe would be able to complete their battle for promotion, for instance, but lose thousands in lost gate money, hospitality and all the rest of it.

But just as neighbours look after neighbours in our towns and cities at times of crisis, so they should in football too.

* Follow Lou on Twitter @LouMacari10

So I would it laid down that the Premier League clubs, who are awash with money, would stand up and be counted. 

How about they donate a share of the prize money they receive for the place they finish in?

You could say that all clubs receive the same as the figure the lowest club is due, then cream off the leftovers to distribute among the lower league clubs.

Or you could levy a kind of tax on the clubs, be it one per cent, five per cent or whatever, and then distribute the funds.

Either way, it stops some of our great football clubs going to the wall, or coming mightily close to going bump.

Sacrifices have to be made in these extraordinary times we live in and, for me at least, completing the season behind closed doors and forcing the Premier League clubs to help out their poorer brethren is the only solution that comes close.”





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