Somehow, we have to get football and other outdoor sports going again in front of live crowds, before mid autumn, otherwise huge numbers of football clubs are going to cease to exist. Argyle must be one of the more financially secure clubs in EFL2 but if we don’t open the grounds to the paying public until next year, even we could end up in big trouble.
The early signs in Germany are good and I feel sure the rest will follow suit. They have dealt with this situation very effectively, as the Germans always seem to do (said with respect). France, Italy and Spain have not done as well bearing in mind they are all part of the EU so it’s a bit of a mystery why there hasn’t been more joined up thinking with Germany.
Figures here in the UK are a bit worse than those last three I mentioned, but what doesn’t get perhaps as much media exposure as it should, is the fact that proportionately we have a much denser population than any of them, including Germany. Our capital city is between 2 and almost 4 times the size of Berlin, Paris, Madrid and Rome, population wise so London was obviously always going to be badly hit.
That said, there is no doubt we could and should have done better. Maybe our scientists have not been as clever as we or they, thought they were. Certainly one of the Swedish virologists who is part of WHO thinks so in today’s press. We’ve had one of the Scottish scientists having to resign for holiday-homing and now one of ours for carrying on his open marriage liaisons with a married woman, in direct contravention of his own instructions. I don’t judge his lifestyle which is a matter for him and his partners, but bloody hell what hypocrisy.
Then there are accounting methods which are so difficult to fathom between different nations. Does anybody seriously believe the Chinese figures? Our figures are now including deaths in care homes and non hospital (quite rightly), but that certainly may not be the case in Italy, Spain and France at least. Also, do we have proportionately more living in care homes than some others. For instance Italy's elderly tend to live in the family more than this country.
It must be incredibly difficult to maintain lockdown conditions in a care home with all the different ages and health conditions. PPE is also an issue. The care home staff do an amazing job and are perhaps the unsung heroes of this terrible situation. They are also very poorly paid in contrast to people in the NHS.
People may think football and sport are of minor consequence at such a time, but they are not. The effect on society in both financial and welfare terms will be immense if vast numbers of football, rugby and other clubs go to the wall as a result. I don’t believe it will be allowed to happen and I remain confident that I will be back at Home Park and Hillsborough before the end of this year, watching the teams I love. Honolulu Argyle and Wednesday