Season 20-21

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Season 20-21

Post by BWFC_Insane » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:33 am

Thought this thread could be used to discuss how/whether/when the new season can start. Now we have a manager in place and a plan for recruitment and the EFL are proposing dates either at the end of August or 12th September (5th is an international weekend if you can believe that) should be noted that there is concern that L1 and 2 would decide not to start on those dates given their funding model relies on fans in the ground - and those dates as it stands would be without fans in the ground.

So what should happen? As I see it there are 3 broad options:
1) You start late August/early September with a limited number of fans allowed in with measures in place
2) You start late August/early September with STs sold on basis of attendance where possible but initially digital streaming (Scotland are doing this)
3) You defer start of the season until fans are allowed in.

Now - the issue with these options as I see it are as follows.

1) Whilst its likely restrictions will be lifted to the point of this being allowed come September it will almost certainly not be practical across many clubs in the lower leagues. Bolton - it would be fine. But think smaller tighter grounds and clubs who will not get close to numbers needed to fund their activities with the restrictions in place. Secondly it also could be ruled out entirely in some areas or even nationwide if the disease remains as high as it does in certain places. You'd also have no away fans which of course is crucial to gate receipts. Even in the best case scenario this doesn't really solve many problems.

2) I'd suggest the issue here is infrastructure and clubs perceived view for it to be a sustainable model. If you have 3000 ST holders you can assume only a % of those would renew based on an unspecified number of games being stream only. You also have the issue of being able to stream and broadcast all games - I'm sure the kit is there but almost certainly requires massive coordination from broadcasters to have suitable quality coverage of every game in FL and from every ground. However, this is the only relatively certain or solid option available. As in you could start planning it today and clubs could start selling STs on this basis and creating revenue.

3) This is I fear what many of our L2 compatriots will opt for - the worry is that you have no idea what the timescale will be to allow fans back into grounds in numbers that will allow for an even reduced financial model to be viable. One assumes at very least you'd need to allow for relatively normal home crowd numbers - this of course becomes more and more challenging at smaller clubs with tighter grounds. I fear the earliest date now you could even plan for would be January - and even that - given you are at height of potential second peak/flu season would be highly movable. And many clubs would not survive that sort of delay.

So I'd argue there isn't a perfect resumption option. One can hope that everything is ok enough in September to get enough fans through the door - but the big question is when would there be clarity and certainty on that to allow clubs to start selling tickets, generating revenue and crucially to give clubs the confidence to support that option. Certainly you're looking at a few weeks at best if you're lucky. Option 2 is the only way you can re-start with some certainty and sense of revenue but you can easily see whilst that suits Bolton Wanderers perfectly it suits Accrington (say) a hell of a lot less.

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