7 Ways to Fix Football Now Coronavirus Has Forced a Near-Global Pause

​Everyone might have all their focus on when their team might return to the pitch, but looking at the bigger picture, an enforced break due to coronavirus could prove to be a real watershed moment for our beloved sport. Football, that is. Obviously. 

It's still too early to tell how long the football calendar is going to be disrupted, but those few people in charge of the game have a chance to really make a difference over the next few weeks and months - rather than worry about when they can start milking their proverbial cash cow again.

We haven't got all the answers at 90min, but we might have some.

Football now has a chance to his the factory default button, so here's a look at a handful of ways the authorities could seriously (...mostly seriously) improve our beautiful game.

Scrap Monday Games


There's not much better than sitting down on a Monday night to watch the last Premier League game of the weekend.

Beer in hand. Takeaway on its way. What more could a football fan ask for?

Well, maybe something that's a little bit more considerate of match-going supporters.

Fans have already had to sacrifice enough of their matchday experience for television companies, so it's not too far saying scheduling Crystal Palace away at Newcastle United on a Monday is taking the absolute Mickey Bliss.

If there's one thing that's become very clear from watching some games in empty stadiums and listening to players this last week, it's that the fans in the ground make a huge difference – even to the product the money-hungry TV companies are trying to sell. Maybe it's time to treat them as crucial, rather than inconvenient. 

Recast the 2022 World Cup Votes - But With Competent People


Did you know? The most swear words uttered at the exact same time worldwide was when Mr Sepp Blatter unveiled the word 'Qatar' from an envelope back on that dismal afternoon at FIFA HQ.

Okay, so we might be guessing there, but still to this day this a feeling of 'how the f*** di that happen?'

The halt in the football calendar that coronavirus has brought could change the landscape for some time, with domestic leagues, European competitions and Euro 2020 all facing lengthy delays to their schedule.

It might not have an impact by the time the World Cup rolls around in 2022. But it might.

As things stand, the competition in Qatar is already going to disrupt football across the world as it will be held during the winter. That's because, apparently, it's quite difficult to play sport in the sort of temperature that makes water boil.

Who knew?

So rather than undergoing any more schedule changes, why not just give the World Cup to a country who already has the infrastructure to hold the competition and, crucially, a country where your skin won't melt in the summer.

Force Arsenal to Retire the Number 4 Shirt

Cesc Fabregas

Well this one's pretty self-explanatory, isn't it?

Arsenal built up quite the reputation for only ever finishing in fourth place during Arsène Wenger's latter years, so what better way to commemorate their former glory than retiring the number four shirt?

Let's face it, fans are going to have to wait quite some time before Arsenal's defence is ever good enough to challenge for the top four again.

As things stand, no player at the club actually wears the number four, so Arsenal might have already retired the number without telling us...

Scrap the 3pm Blackout

Swindon Town v Notts County - Sky Bet League Two

Hold fire, you self-proclaimed football purists. Just hear us out.

The '3pm Blackout' was brought in during the 1960s when Burnley chairman Bob Lord convinced the Football League that attendances lower down the divisions would be impacted if games on a Saturday afternoon were televised.

That's an opinion which is still held to this day.

Despite this common belief, there isn't actually any evidence which suggests 3pm games and lower league attendances have any correlation whatsoever.

And in fact, there is quite a bit of evidence which disproves the need for the '3pm Blackout'.

If you fancy reading some lengthy case law on the topic, then you can do that right here.

Introduce Rail Seating in One Stand Per Stadium

Crystal Palace v West Ham United - Premier League

Standing at football games is rightfully a sensitive topic. Fans in England should never forget the tragic events of 15th April, 1989, as there are family and friends of 96 supporters who are still waiting for justice.

The introduction of rail seating wouldn't be turning back the clock and in fact, it would actually bring an improvement in terms of health and safety at football stadiums, as it still offers fans a seat but also gives them the chance to stand in their own designated section.

It certainly shouldn't be brought in across an entire stadium - football clubs need to be accommodating for supporters of all ages who might not want to stand, as well as families - but having one stand with rail seating would bring in a major improvement in the atmosphere, not to mention fan satisfaction.

Make Manchester City's European Ban Indefinite

Josep Guardiola

Karma. It's a wonderful thing.

Manchester City's decision to fiddle with the gas meter on an astronomical scale has seen them kicked out of UEFA competitions for two years.

But something about that punishment doesn't seem harsh enough.

Any objections?

We didn't think so.

Use Some TV Money to Fund the Community

Brighton & Hove Albion v Watford FC - Premier League

It's something that might not be known unless you've spent time working with a football club, but a team's community brach is very rarely a direct part of the club.

Instead, Community Trusts are separate organisations, acting as an addition that works alongside the club.

There charities are overworked and underfunded, yet still their impact in their local area is nothing short of outstanding. 

Football is already having a big impact on the community. But if these charities were to receive even just 10 per cent of the television money which is handed out by broadcasters every year, our teams would be able to take more of a frontline approach to dealing with a lot of social issues.

It's not the answer to the problem. But it is a start.

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Source : 90min